GREENBACK (WATE) - The
mayor of Greenback said he is lucky to be alive after being
assaulted at his home early Thursday morning.
Investigators are still
looking for the suspect responsible.
Greenback Mayor Tom
Peeler will not be able to talk clearly for the next four
weeks because his jaw was broken and had to be wired shut.
Peeler was awakened
Thursday morning by a motion alarm he had recently installed
on his back porch.
When Peeler looked out
his window he said he could see a man standing near his golf
cart parked in the back. Peeler grabbed his H&R silver
plated .22 pistol and decided to confront the intruder.
Since Peeler's mouth is wired shut, his granddaughter, Faith
Blankenship, translated for him.
"He saw him walking...
towards his truck," said Blankenship. Then she said her
grandfather told the man to stop or else he would shoot.
Peeler than grabbed the
suspect by the arm and dragged him back towards the house.
That's when the family said things went sour.
"Papaw stopped him, and pointed the gun to him," said
Blankenship. "(He) banged on the side of the porch, (then
the) guy head butted him in the jaw."
The suspect was able to
get Peeler's gun away from him.
"When Nana woke up she
opened the door," said Blankenship. "Papaw told her to call
911 and that's when the guy took off."
Mayor Peeler got a good
description of the man who assaulted him.
He said the man was
white, in his early twenties, six feet tall, and weighed
approximately 220 pounds. He had short black hair, was clean
shaven and wearing black pants and a black T-shirt.
The suspect was driving
a white pick-up. Peeler says it was either a Ford Ranger or
The suspect had two
beer cans he had taken out of the Peeler's back porch
refrigerator in his hand when Peeler confronted him. The
only thing he got away with was Peeler's pistol.
the mayor can't talk, he wrote a message on his dry erase
board for the suspect. "I hope you are happy, but please
come back one more time."
There has been a jump
in crime in Greenback in the past two weeks. Several of
Peeler's neighbors have had their vehicles broken into at
If you have any information about the suspect who assaulted
the mayor, please call the Loudon County Sheriff's
Department at 865-986-4823.