November 30, 2023

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Allegedly shooting at three people with a flare gun because someone else’s car was being repossessed ended with a man going to jail after being charged with assault.

At around 11 a.m. Monday, Athens Police Department Officer Austin Roderick responded to a residence on Sharp Road in reference to shots being fired from a flare gun.

When he arrived, he spoke with three employees of a local towing company who said they were on the property to repossess a vehicle. .

Once the tow truck workers finished the repossession process, however, a man – identified as Donald Steven Norman, 45, of Athens, – reportedly aimed a flare gun them. He then allegedly fired off a flare round at them, telling them, “You’re not taking that vehicle because the owner owes me money.”

The flare round did not hit any of the employees.

Roderick then spoke with Norman who said he did not know where the weapon was, but that the officer could search for it. It was eventually located and Norman reportedly claimed “he shot the weapon but not at (the victims).”

Norman was taked into custody and booked into the McMinn County Justice Center on three counts of aggravated assault. His bond was set at $30,000.


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