State House candidate, friend sued

Litigation tied to Overstreet incident caught on video

By Hugh Willett
A lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court for Roane County this week against 32nd District State House candidate Tyler Overstreet and his friend Wende Jones seeks up to $200,000 in compensatory damages related to an incident that occurred July 13.

Overstreet’s attorney, Tom McFarland, claims the suit is politically motivated.

The suit, filed by plaintiff Jimmy Anderson on behalf of his 15-year-old son, Sheldon Anderson, claims the defendants traveled to the home of Angela Guettner at 346 Lawson Mill Road in Kingston to confront the plaintiff’s son and several others after an “obscenity-calling” incident that occurred at Jones’ residence.

“Neither defendant at any point sought the assistance of law enforcement to address the grievance,” the suit said.

“Defendant Jones had by this point armed herself with a baseball bat, and defendant Overstreet had armed himself with a length of rigid steel cable which law enforcement after the incident characterized as a prohibited weapon,” the suit alleges.

“Defendants’ purpose in traveling to and entering the Guettner residence and engaging in the act of violence was to punish and intimidate the teenagers for having driven past defendant Jones’ home yelling obscenities, the suit states.

The suit alleges the defendants entered the home without being invited in and confronted the minor child Sheldon Anderson.

Overstreet is alleged to have then struck Anderson on the top of the head with the steel cable weapon.

Another occupant of the residence, Ishmael Patterson, who was recording what was happening on a cellphone, claims Overstreet hit him on the wrist with the cable.

The video does not show the strike, but the suit claims the sound of the cable striking Patterson can be heard.

Overstreet’s actions caused physical injury, pain, suffering, anguish and emotional distress to the minor child Sheldon Anderson, the suit alleges.

In addition to compensatory damages, the suit seeks to permanently enjoin the defendants from coming around the minor child or in any way threatening him with physical harm.

Overstreet contends that all those involved have criminal records.

According to the police report, he said he went to the home to protect Jones, whose intention was to confront the people harassing her son.

The occupants of the home had also swerved at Jones on the road previously, he said.

Overstreet said he and Jones entered the home with permission from another occupant and confronted the minor Anderson and Patterson.

According to the police report, the minor Anderson and Patterson both declined medical treatment.

The report added that both Guettner and the minor Anderson declined to press charges the day of the incident.

According to a letter sent to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Mark N. Foster, by McFarland, the suit is the result of a failed effort to extort money from Overstreet.

“My clients will not bow to political extortion,” McFarland said.