Roan Mountain man stabbed during dispute over broken Jeep windows; one arrested

John Thompson • Sep 5, 2013 at 9:57 PM

ROAN MOUNTAIN — A man was arrested Wednesday following an early morning fight in which another man suffered a large open cut to his left leg.

Deputy David Caldwell said he and other Carter County deputies were dispatched to the fight at an apartment house on Main Street at 3 a.m. They found Viensen Hitchew III, 21, suffering from a leg wound.

Witnesses at the apartments said they heard a loud noise coming from outside. When they checked, they saw Robert Howard Whitehead, 30, 215 Bear Branch Road, hitting the windshield of Hitchew's Jeep with a large hammer while Hitchew was away.

Hitchew told Caldwell he had taken a short drive with Shay Bullwinkel. When they returned to his residence, he found all six windows had been broken out of his parked Jeep.

Hitchew said after he had discovered the broken windows, he saw Whitehead and another man walking toward him. Hitchew said he demanded to know why Whitehead had broken out the windows.

Witnesses said the two men began to yell at one another, then Hitchew punched Whitehead, knocking him to the ground. Hitchew said Whitehead then stabbed him in the left leg with a pocket knife.

At that point, Caldwell began searching the area for Whitehead and reported finding him at his residence later that morning. Caldwell said Whitehead told him he had gone to the apartment house to pick up his nephew. When he arrived, he said, he saw Hitchew outside, demanding to know why he had broken out the windows of his Jeep.

He said Hitchew then punched him. Whitehead said he then grabbed a rock lying on the ground and hit Hitchew with it. He said Hitchew then ran away yelling "he cut me."

Caldwell then took a pocket knife that was in Whitehead's possession and arrested him on a charge of aggravated assault. Whitehead is scheduled to answer the charge in Sessions Court on Oct. 7.

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