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Man Arrested After Threatening Neighbors In Heated Dispute Over Dogs and Chickens

HAWKINS COUNTY, TENNESSEE – Pointing his shotgun at his neighbors and verbally threatening them during an argument about dogs and chickens resulted in a man being arrested and charged on Sunday, February 7th. According to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, Timothy Pruner and his wife were awakened Sunday morning by the noise of their chickens outside their home on Okalona Road.

The homeowner told deputies that he went outside and discovered that his neighbor’s dog was chasing the chickens. He said that he fired three shots into the ground from his pistol to scare the dog away.  He then heard another dog inside his chicken coop, prompting him to fire three more rounds. He reported that a German Shepherd fled the coop and ran across the street.

Pruner stated that he then put the pistol away and planned to go talk to his neighbor, Phillip Williams, about the dogs killing his livestock. Pruner said that when he reached the road, Williams, 60, pulled up in a red Ford F-150. Pruner alleges that Williams got out of the truck with a “short-barreled pump shotgun in his hand.” Pruner claimed that Williams pointed the gun at both him and his wife and said “I’m tired of you”, stating that he would shoot them if Pruner had shot his dogs.

The HCSO report says that the two argued for several minutes, with Pruner attempting to de-escalate the situation out of fear for their lives. Pruner said he told Williams “he did not want to feud with him like the Hatfield and McCoys” and he just wanted Williams to keep his dogs off their property.

When Pruner told Williams that he was required to keep his dogs on his property under state law, Williams responded by saying that he “lived in the country and does not have to obey the law.” He also told Pruner that the dogs were not the issue and that he should put up his livestock better.

Williams eventually left after saying he had no problem “taking care of [Pruner].” Pruner told deputies that he gathered his family and left for Kingsport and that they had not returned to the home due to Williams being in the vicinity.

Williams was arrested by HCSO deputies at 8:51 p.m. Sunday and charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment with a firearm.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see pet and livestock owners’ resort to violence over such issues. Fortunately, in this instance, there was no bloodshed.

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