• 57°

Chihuahua dispute leads to Tennessee man’s arrest

SURGOINSVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee man was charged with felony vandalism this week after witnesses said he rammed his daughter’s car in a dispute over custody of a chihuahua, the Kingsport Times News reported.
On Monday, the daughter filed a report with the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office alleging Jeffrey Lynn Bixler was riding around with her dog and threatening over the phone to cut the dog’s throat. He eventually returned the dog, but the next day around 4:25 p.m., Surgoinsville Police Department Chief James Hammonds received reports that Bixler was using his Chevy pickup to ram his daughter’s Toyota Camry, which was parked and unoccupied.
“He wanted to keep the dog, and she had the legal right to get the dog back,” Hammonds said. “What he did was drive to her apartment, got on the far end of the parking lot, and shoved that car through the mulch into the tree. It’s totaled.”
“He’s saying his gas pedal got stuck,” Hammonds added. “But, my witnesses say it wasn’t stuck because he was screaming profanities at them after he hit the car. They were inside the apartment watching. He was screaming at them and flipping them off and then he took off.”
Hammond found Bixler’s heavily damaged pickup at his home but Bixler was not located and arrested until around 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
Bixler was arraigned Wednesday in Hawkins County Sessions Court and released on a $5,000 bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Nov. 4. A phone number for Bixler could not be located in an online directory.
Hammonds said the dispute between the father and daughter has been ongoing.
“He was arrested last year for beating the windshield out of her car,” Hammonds said.