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Update: Johnson City man charged with assaulting three with tire iron on Hamilton Street

Staff Report • Dec 5, 2012 at 1:06 PM

A 36-year-old Johnson City man was arrested late Tuesday after injuring three people with a tire iron in a Hamilton Street home invasion, according to police reports.

Ronnie R. Britt, 2309 Sinking Creek Road, was arrested after he barged into the home of Jerry Waller at 301 Hamilton St., and assaulted two men and a woman with the tire iron, police reported. All three were taken by ambulance and treated for injuries at Johnson City Medical Center.

Police were called to the Watauga Mart, 601 W. Watauga Ave., about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and found Shannon Godsey and Julie Mahara in the parking lot. Mahara's forehead had a large laceration.

Mahara pointed to a maroon pickup leaving 301 Hamilton and identified the driver, Britt, as her assailant. Patrolman Adam Murray followed Britt in his police cruiser and caught up with Britt at the intersection of Lamont Street and University Parkway, but Britt refused to stop and drove onto University and then onto Highland Avenue, police said.

As more police arrived, Britt turned onto Frances Street and back onto Lamont, where he drove over the sidewalk and into a yard, where he was arrested. Britt's jacket and shirt were covered in blood, police said in the reports.

At the Watauga Mart, Godsey told police she had answered the door at Waller's residence when Britt stepped inside and shoved her to the floor. She fell over a kerosene heater and saw Britt hit Mahara with a metal object. She said Britt was screaming about wanting drugs.

He then repeatedly hit a second victim, David Blaylock, in the head with the metal object, Godsey told police. Fearing for her safety, Godsey climbed out a window and ran to the convenience market.

At JCMC, police spoke with Mahara, Blaylock and a third victim, Herbert Bowden. Bowden told police Britt struck the left side of his head behind his ear, where he had a laceration.

Blaylock was unable to talk with police at the time because of the extent of his injuries. He had multiple lacerations on his head and body. Mahara's cut required several stitches.

Police showed Mahara and Bowden a photo lineup, and both picked out Britt as their assailant.

At the Hamilton Street scene, investigators also spoke with a witness, Richard Crawford, who reported that Britt had asked him with Britt to go the house because some people owed Britt money. When they got to the house, Britt went into the house and exited 5-10 minutes later. Britt got the tire iron from the truck and went back in the house, and Crawford heard screams coming from the house, Crawford told police.

In the pickup, which belonged to Britt's father, police found a purse, wallet, cell phone and coat belonging to Godsey and prescription medications belonging to Waller. Police also found in the truck two U.S. Postal Service packages from Veterans Affairs Medical Center with another person's name on them, according to the reports.

Charged with three counts of aggravated assault, evading arrest and driving on a revoked license, Britt was jailed in the Washington County Detention Center on $75,000 bond pending a Sessions Court appearance this morning.

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