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Arrest made in ETSU knife attack

Becky Campbell • Updated Mar 5, 2019 at 7:38 PM

East Tennessee State University police and local law enforcement arrested a man Tuesday they said was the person who attacked a female student on campus last week.

Joe Smith, ETSU chief communications officer, confirmed the arrest Tuesday afternoon, but did not release the man’s name and said further details would be available in the arrest warrant. As of late Tuesday, no affidavit had been filed in the Washington County General Sessions Clerk’s office.

Smith said it was his understanding the man was taken into custody by another law enforcement agency, but could not confirm if it that happened in the Tri-Cities or in another location. Smith did say the man charged in the attack was not an employee or student at ETSU.

“He is another county being held on unrelated charges,” Smith said.

The attack happened around 4 a.m. on Feb. 24. The female student reported that she was assaulted by a man with a knife early that Sunday morning while walking on campus near the powerhouse. The woman described her attacker as white, about 5 feet, 7 inches tall, skinny and having blondish/brown shaggy hair. She also described him as having a pointy, big nose and a pointy chin. The man was wearing blue jeans, brown work boots and a dark color jacket.

“A timely warning was sent to the campus at that time,” Smith said. Colleges and universities are bound by the Jeanne Clery Act to send “timely warnings and emergency notifications when warranted.”

Those “timely warnings” are sent by email, and emergency notifications may be sent by text message, campus sirens, and other means through the Gold Alert system,” according to the university.

Keep checking with www.JohnsonCityPress.com for more details as they become available.

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