Kingsport man charged with aggravated assault on officer

A Kingsport man was arrested early Friday morning after almost hitting a Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office deputy head-on.

Robert Franklin Smith, 25, was charged with driving left of center, speeding 21 miles per hour over limit, failure to exercise due care, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault on a Hawkins County Sheriff’s Officer, felony evading arrest, failure to stop for stop signs, evading by foot, four counts of driving on suspended license, registration violation and violation of financial responsibility.

According to a report from Deputy Isaac Hutchins, of the HCSO, a 2004 Honda Accord, driven by Smith, was traveling north on Big Elm Road when the Accord almost Hutchins’ cruiser head-on while traveling at a high speed.

Hutchins attempted a traffic stop, but Smith refused to stop for emergency lights and siren and was driving in the wrong traffic lanes, losing control several times.

Smith ran several stop signs and drove at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The Accord would swerve into oncoming traffic attempting to his other motorists’ vehicles.

After Smith backtracked to Big Elm Road, he ran another stop sign onto Netherland Inn Road, almost hitting another vehicle. The car continued onto Netherland Inn Road where Smith swerved into the wrong lane and attempted to hit an officer’s vehicle, barely missing the Kingsport Police Department unit. The car turned left onto Stone Drive, continuing into the Kingsport city limits and crossing the state border into Scott County, Virginia. Scott County deputies continued the chase without losing sight of the car into Sullivan County where the car was chased back into Hawkins County, the report stated.

After driving recklessly through multiple counties and cities, the Accord made its way to Union Hollow Road when it missed the turn onto Carters Valley Road, drove into a pasture and wrecked. Smith got out of the vehicle and fled, but was caught a short time later. Smith has active warrants in Kingsport, including three prior driving on restricted license convictions, one in Sullivan County in 2018 and two in Hawkins County in 2019 and 2020, according to the report.

Smith is being held in the Hawkins County Jail pending arraignment Monday morning in Rogersville.