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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Update: Elizabethton man arrested after fleeing THP stop that prompted Hampton school lockdowns

August 30th, 2013 1:36 pm by John Thompson

Update: Elizabethton man arrested after fleeing THP stop that prompted Hampton school lockdowns

Update: HAMPTON — Three Carter County schools went on lockdown Friday afternoon as a precaution after two men and a woman fled from law enforcement officers fled on foot from a Tennessee Highway Patrol seat belt safety checkpoint at First Avenue and U.S. Highway 321.


The lockdown was ordered after a citizen call to 911 saying an individual was running between residences with a handgun. Law enforcement officers arrested one person, Clinton Campbell, 46, Elizabethton. There was no handgun found.


Campbell was charged with DUI and resisting stop, frisk and halt. Two others who were in the vehicle, remain at large.


The incident caused the lockdown of Hampton Elementary School, Hampton High School and Valley Forge Elementary School.


Assistant Director of Schools Peggy Campbell said the lockdown came after law enforcement officers informed school officials about the incident. “I appreciate their immediate concern and their quick notification,” Campbell said.


The lockdown was downgraded to a soft lockdown as more information became known. Campbell said the pursuit did not go onto school grounds and it was only a precautionary measure.


Dalya Qualls, public information officer for the Tennessee Highway Patrol, said the incident began when troopers at the safety checkpoint noticed a vehicle coming through the checkpoint with a few traffic violations, including no front bumper and a broken tail light. The troopers requested the driver to pull over to the side of the road. The driver then sped off across U.S. Highway 321 and into a private residence, where the three occupants got out and fled on foot.


A short time later, 911 received the call about the armed man.


Law enforcement officers continued to search the area. About 15-20 minutes into the search, Clinton Campbell was found.


Sheriff Chris Mathes said the department’s school resource officers, Lt. Mike Fraley and Lt. Forrest Sharpe were participating in the search and found Campbell hiding in some shrubbery on 2nd Avenue. They secured the subject until Trooper Jonathan Street took him into custody and charged him. He was transported to the Carter County Jail.


Things went well at the school and Assistant Director Campbell said the lockdown was lifted. She said the schools have frequent practice drills.

Below is an earlier version of this story.

Update: An Elizabethton man was jailed following a manhunt near two Hampton schools after he and two other people fled a Tennessee Highway Patrol checkpoint this afternoon. The other two remained at large.

Tennessee Department of Safety spokeswoman Dalya Qualls said the THP was conducting a seat belt safety checkpoint on First Avenue and US Hwy 321 in Carter County this afternoon. Troopers saw a vehicle coming through the checkpoint with a few traffic violations — no front bumper and a broken tail light.

The troopers asked the driver to pull over to the side of the road.  The driver then sped off across U.S. Highway 321 and onto a private property, where the three occupants ran away.

Hampton Elementary and High schools were locked down.



Soon after, the Carter County 911 center received a call saying a person was running between residences with a handgun. Roughly 15-20 minutes later, Carter County Sheriff’s Office deputies located a man in the shrubbery on 2nd Avenue. They secured him until THP Sgt. Jonathan Street came to take custody and arrested him on DUI and resisting stop, frisk and halt charges.

Clinton Campbell, 46, Elizabethton, was taken to the Carter County Jail. No handgun found on him, Qualls said.

The school lockdown was lifted after about 45 minutes, officials said.


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HAMPTON — Two Carter County schools were locked down for about 45 minutes today while the Tennessee Highway Patrol searched for an armed man near school property, school and law enforcement officials said this afternoon.

Hampton Elementary School and Hampton High School were locked down around noon after the THP attempted a traffic stop and a man with a weapon fled in the area,

"He was very close (to the elementary school)," said Mickey Taylor, the Carter County School System's safety director and Career Technical Center director.

The man was apprehended in the area behind the elementary school, which was given the all-clear within about 45 minutes.

Two other people — a man and a woman — who were also in the vehicle fled the scene and remained on the loose, Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said.

Mathes also said the THP was conducting a checkpoint in the area when the incident occurred.

Tennessee Department of Safety spokeswoman Dalya Qualls referred inquiries about the incident to the Carter County Sheriff's Office.

Keep visiting JohnsonCityPress.com for details as they become available.

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