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Johnson City man charged in alleged Christmas Eve handgun assault

Staff reports • Dec 27, 2012 at 10:28 AM

A Johnson City man was charged Christmas Eve with assault stemming from an incident where he allegedly used a handgun to threaten two people, according to a police report.

Johnson City police said Brian Abel, 31, 2418 Melbourne Drive, was charged with aggravated assault against a coworker and domestic aggravated assault against his girlfriend.

According to a police report, Seth Morris, who works at Smokey Bones Restaurant in Johnson City with Abel, called 911 because of threats made by him toward a coworker, according to the police report.

Kimberly Rice, the restaurant’s manager, said in the report that Abel and his girlfriend, Laurel Blair, 32, left together around 11:15 p.m. Sunday, but Abel later called the restaurant and started telling Rice he had made Blair run her car into a ditch and that he said he was going to return to the restaurant, according to the report.

Abel continued, telling Rice that if Blair showed up at home he was going to “put her in a body bag,” according to the report. Rice feared for Blair’s life and sent Morris to her house at 510 Stanley Drive to check on her, according to the report. Once he arrived, Abel was coming out of the back door and had a gun in the waist band of his pants, according to the report. Abel cocked a .22-caliber handgun and pointed it at Morris’ face and told him to get out of his way, according to the report.

Blair came in the back door of the house where Morris and Abel were and told Morris to leave, which he did, though he saw the two arguing and shoving each other, according to the report. Morris saw Abel point the gun at Blair, force her to the ground and say he would “blow her brains out,” according to the report.

When officers arrived around 3:40 a.m. Monday, they surrounded Blair’s house. Police said they heard one shot fired inside the residence. A few minutes later, Blair went out the front door. Blair, whose hands were cut on both sides and was intoxicated, would not answer questions but did consent to a search of her home, according to the report.

Police said Abel had blood on both sides of his face, and a spent .22-caliber round was found on the dresser in the back bedroom and another round was found under the bed in the same room. One officer located the handgun in its case at the bottom of a laundry basket, and an AK rifle was located in the front bedroom, according to the report.

Abel was taken to the Washington County Detention Center.


Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article omitted the location of the incident.

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