UPDATE 3: McMinn suspects charged in Bradley airport vandalism
CLEVELAND, BRADLEY COUNTY (WRCB) – The Bradley County Sheriff says they have identified three suspects in the vandalism of construction equipment at the Bradley County airport.
Sheriff Jim Ruth says 18-year-old Casey Thomas, of Athens, 19-year-old Jeremy Mulkey, of Athens, and 20-year-old Barry Burbank, of Sweetwater, have been charged with the vandalism.
On November 16th construction crews at the Bradley County Airport project discovered severe damage to the heavy equipment at the construction site. That damage was estimated at over $100,000.
The three men were arrested Thursday in McMinn County in connection with several incidents of objects being thrown from overpasses.
Each will be charged with vandalism over $60,000.
Sheriff Ruth says the three suspects will remain in McMinn County for the time being. They will be transferred to the Bradley County Jail to be officially charged in the near future, according to the sheriff.
ATHENS, McMINN COUNTY (WRCB) - The McMinn County Sheriff says arrests have been made in connection with objects thrown from overpasses in the county.
At a news conference Thursday, Sheriff Joe Guy says 18-year-old Casey Thomas, of Athens, 19-year-old Jeremy Mulkey, of Athens, and 20-year-old Barry Burbank, of Sweetwater, have been arrested in connection with the incidents.
Sheriff Guy says that all three were arrested late Wednesday night into Thursday morning after receiving a tip on the identities of the suspects.
Thomas is charged with three counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of felony vandalism and one count to commit reckless homicide.
Burbank is charged with three counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of felony vandalism.
Mulkey is charged with 18 counts of attempted reckless homicide, one count to commit reckless homicide, three counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of felony vandalism.
The sheriff added that the three suspects confessed to four incidents.
Of those four, three resulted in injury or damage.
Sheriff Joe Guy said, "This type of crime borders on terrorism and we simply will not tolerate such crimes that have been inclcted to innocent citizens on our interstate."
Mayor John Gentry said the county has already written resolutions to the Tennessee Department of Transportation and The Tennessee Highway Patrol asking for more security and patrol on Interstate 75.
He said it would prevent copy cat criminals.
"This is something we don't want to see repeated in McMinn County and no where in the state of Tennessee."
The first incident occurred on November 16th, a mailbox was thrown from County Road 326, hitting a tractor trailer. The driver of the truck was injured in the incident.
On November 29th, the driver of a private charter bus was injured when a motor was dropped from the County Road 130 overpass and crashed through the windshield of the bus.
Then, on December 22nd, someone threw a mailbox onto Interstate 75 from County Road 255 overpass, hitting the roof of a tractor trailer.
The men reportedly confessed to a fourth incident on County Road 264, though no date was given for that incident and no one was reported injured.
The three men are currently in the McMinn County Jail and are scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon.
Sheriff Guy says the men could face additional charges from both McMinn and Bradley County.