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UPDATE: Erwin police standoff ends with man in custody

Jonathan Roberts and David Floyd • Updated Aug 21, 2019 at 10:38 AM

A roughly seven-hour standoff in Erwin on Tuesday ended with police shooting the man with a non-lethal round and tackling him, taking him into custody shortly before 9 p.m.

Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said about two weeks ago Stephen Honeycutt of Unicoi County allegedly burst through the door of 1650 Chestoa Pike, the home of a former girlfriend. She called the police, and Hensley said Honeycutt ran away as officers arrived.

Police chased Honeycutt into Madison County, North Carolina, Hensley said, but were unable to stop him. Police issued a warrant for Honeycutt’s arrest, and at around 2 p.m. Tuesday, an Erwin policeman spotted Honeycutt speeding. The officer tried to stop Honeycutt, but Hensley said Honeycutt fled back to 1650 Chestoa Pike.

The officer recognized Honeycutt and saw him carrying two scoped hunting rifles as he left the vehicle. Hensley said Honeycutt kicked the door of the residence in again, and Honeycutt’s ex-girlfriend ran out of the house, where the officer was able to get her to safety.

At one point, Hensley said, Honeycutt pointed a gun, which appeared to be a .38 revolver, under his own chin, which made police wary about approaching him.

Hensley said police negotiated with Honeycutt for about seven hours, and Hensley requested the assistance of Johnson City and Washington County SWAT teams.

The sheriff said one of the SWAT team members from Washington County was able to convince Honeycutt to put the gun in his lap, and police shot Honeycutt with a non-lethal beanbag round from a 12 gauge. They tackled him, and after “a brief scuffle,” police took him into custody, transporting him to the hospital and then to jail.

Hensley said Honeycutt did not threaten police with a gun, but he said Honeycutt did pick up a rifle as if he was going to point it out the window. Hensley said he put the rifle down after he and Erwin Police Chief Regan Tilson, who were with Honeycutt in the bedroom at that time, drew down on him and told him to put the rifle down.

Reported earlier:

Update: The man police said held them at bay for hours Tuesday in Erwin was in custody as of 8:45 p.m., according to Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office.

Reported earlier:

ERWIN — Authorities say a standoff on Chestoa Pike ended with a man in custody before 9 p.m.

Several law enforcement agencies were involved the standoff Tuesday afternoon with the man, who had a warrant out for his arrest, and who they said had barricaded himself in a house.

Erwin police, Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Johnson City police were on the scene at 1650 Chestoa Pike. Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said negotiators had an open line of communication with the man.

Authorities said the situation began about 1:15 p.m. after officers tried to serve the man with the warrant.

Erwin police saw the man driving downtown and reported that he fled into the house on Chestoa.

Hensley said a woman in the house escaped.

The man had accepted water from police during the standoff.

This is a developing story.


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