Kingsport man charged with hammer attack

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - A Kingsport man is in jail and accused of attempted first degree murder after officers say he attacked another man with a hammer.

Police say 21-year-old Matthew Dalton Johnson attacked the victim after an argument lasting several days.

Johnson reportedly invited the victim to talk and put the argument behind them. Police say that's when the victim arrived Johnson attacked him with a hammer, then took the victim's wallet and cell phone.

Johnson is charged with attempted first degree murder, aggravated robbery, and felony vandalism.

The Kingsport Police Department released the following information about the incident:

"A suspect has been arrested for Attempted First-Degree Murder after assaulting his victim with a ball-peen hammer.

On November 21, 2013 at approximately 9:35 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to the area of "The Birches" in Kingsport in reference to a disturbance.

While en route, Officer Bobby Lawson was flagged down about a block away from the residence by an individual driving a white 2011 Hyundai Sonata. This individual, a 50-year-old white male, appeared to be the victim of an assault, having various abrasions and bruises to his head and blood visible on his face and nose. The individual told Officer Lawson that he had been attacked by Matthew Johnson.

The subsequent investigation revealed that Mr. Johnson and the victim are acquaintances and had been quarreling for several days. Mr. Johnson called the victim and invited him to the residence under the pretense of putting the argument behind them and making up.

Immediately upon arriving inside the residence, the victim was suddenly and violently attacked by Mr. Johnson. Johnson struck the victim numerous times in the head with a ball-peen hammer and forcibly took his wallet and cell phone from his person.

The victim ran to his car and began sounding the vehicle's horn for help. He then got in the vehicle and attempted to leave. The Birches is a gated community, so the victim had to wait a moment for the gate to open. Before the victim could exit the gate, Mr. Johnson charged out and struck the vehicle with a large rock.

Officers responded to the scene and located Mr. Johnson's mother and grandmother, who advised that Mr. Johnson had already left on foot. However, while officers were still in the immediate area, Mr. Johnson circled back to the residence. Officers returned to the scene and found Mr. Johnson inside the residence cleaning up blood left on the floor from the earlier assault."

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