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Investigation Underway Into Armed Robbery

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

National Park News

Rangers and special agents are investigating an armed robbery that occurred last Wednesday afternoon on the Foothills Parkway-East. A man and woman, both from Newport, Tennessee, reported that they were sitting in their vehicle at an overlook when they were confronted by two people dressed in dark clothing and wearing ski masks. One of them assaulted the man by spraying him with pepper spray and hitting him on the head with a silver colored handgun. They then took the victim's 2004 maroon Nissan sedan and drove east on the parkway towards I-40. A park employee came across the victims a short while after the attack and reported the incident. Cocke County deputies and rangers responded and recovered the car, which had been abandoned along the parkway. A search of the area, with the assistance of a sheriff's department search dog, resulted in the recovery of clothing articles and other forensic evidence believed to belong to the suspects. The man was taken by ambulance to Newport Medical Center, where he was treated and released. Park investigators do not believe this was a random crime against a park visitor – it appears that the victims may have been specifically targeted. Park officials are asking anyone with information concerning this incident to call park investigators at 828-497-1936.


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