Restaurant worker restrains domestic violence suspect

KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Kingsport Police said a man faced a long list of charges after being restrained by a restaurant worker on Wednesday.

Police responded to Longhorn Steakhouse, located at 1750 East Stone Drive in Kingsport and found Harley David Byington, restrained on a bench in front of the restaurant.

 As soon as the employee saw the police arrive, he released his grasp on the suspect, and Byington ran across East Stone Drive toward East Stone Commons Shopping Plaza where officers lost sight of him.

Officers said their investigation revealed earlier Wednesday Byington and his ex-wife went to court in Bristol, Tennessee over a prior domestic violence case. After leaving court, Byington appeared at his ex-wife's home and asked her to drive him to Rogersville, TN to which she agreed, in hopes that he would then leave her alone.
During the drive down Highway 11W, police said Byington threatened to harm his ex-wife and her child.

According to the police report, she instructed Byington to stop the vehicle, and she exited the car, entered Longhorn Steakhouse, and went into the ladies restroom. Mr. Byington pursued her into the restroom and struck her in the face with his hands and lunged at her with a utility knife. He locked arms with her and forcibly escorted her from the restroom.

Once outside the restroom, Byington's ex-wife reported him striking her with liquor bottles. Workers reported Byington was overheard shouting, "Before this day is done, you and that baby will be dead, and they will have to kill me to take me down."

Eventually employees and patrons of the restaurant intervened and restrained Mr. Byington to stop the assault. Mr. Byington's ex-wife received various bruises and abrasions in the attack, but fortunately avoided more serious injury.

For the next few hours, officers continued to search the area and surveil the vehicle in which Mr. Byington had been traveling. At approximately 9:00 PM, he returned to the vehicle and began to drive out of the parking lot. An officer approached the vehicle in an attempt to stop him, but upon spotting the officer, Mr. Byington accelerated the vehicle onto Indian Court.

With Mr. Byington at the wheel, the vehicle ran the red light onto East Stone Drive, jumped a concrete median flattening the front tires, traveled westbound in the eastbound lanes head-on into oncoming traffic, and eventually turned into the parking lot of Buffalo Wild Wings, located at 1721 East Stone Drive.

Mr. Byington accelerated the car to the rear of the parking lot and crashed head-on into a tree on the Green Belt adjacent to the parking lot, where he was ultimately arrested. Mr. Byington suffered significant but non-life threatening injuries in the crash and was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center by Sullivan County E.M.S. for treatment. While at the hospital, a baggie was discovered concealed in Mr. Byington's rectum. The baggie was found to contain marijuana and 18 orange pills, identified as the anti-depressant medication, Amitriptyline.

After receiving treatment and being cleared by a physician, Mr. Byington was transported to the Kingsport City Jail where he was booked on the following charges.

His charges stemming from the initial incident include:

1) Aggravated Domestic Assault

2) Evading Arrest

His additional charges incurred at the time of his arrest include:

1) Felony Evading Arrest

2) Driving on a Revoked License as a Habitual Traffic Offender

3) Possession of a Schedule IV Drug (Amitriptyline)

4) Possession of a Schedule VI Drug (Marijuana)

5) Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device

6) Driving Left of Center

7) Failure to Comply with Financial Responsibility Law (No Insurance)

8) Violation of Registration

9) Violation of Seatbelt Law

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