Story by Scott Humphrey, News Director, 105.7 The Hog and 1057News.com
Yesterday, 105.7 News brought you a story about a man arrested for allegedly stopping vehicles on Highway 127 South and allegedly hitting some of the vehicles with a large stick.
Here is the original story:
Cumberland County deputies responded Sunday (February 23, 2020) to Highway 127 South at Turner Greenhouse Road for a report of a man stopping cars and hitting the vehicles with a stick. As officers were on the way, a witness observed one of the drivers involved, an elderly female, who stopped and drew a firearm pointing it at the suspect, 34-year-old Ricky Dewayne Young of Crossville, and ordered him to get on the ground. Deputies arrested Young for reckless endangerment, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing a highway or passageway.
A short time after this story appeared on 1057News.com and on the 105.7 News Facebook page, I learned the woman who held at gunpoint was Jaton Brinson Fowler. I spoke with her about her account of the incident and the use of the word “elderly” as the incident report indicated by a witness. It turns out she is not as old as the witness thought she was.
I offered to take the “elderly” word out of the story but Jaton replied with this:
“You can leave it … It is bringing my kids way too much joy. LOL”
She shared her account of the moments with 105.7 News leading up to the confrontation and the incident through her eyes is moving:
“I have a heavy heart. I sat through two church services and barely heard a word the preacher said in either of them. All I could hear were the pleadings of a young man saying “I need help!”
This morning started out like all Sunday mornings. I left home at 7am in order to be at the church for the Safety & Security team meeting at 7:30. On my way I see a shirtless young man holding a large stick (like a tree limb about 5 foot long) and waving people to a stop.
I see a pick-up ahead of me off the side of the road at an angle, the road to the right had an elderly lady behind the wheel of a white car and the road to the left angled to the left was a black car with a young women inside. Thinking it may be an accident I stop, put my car in park and turn on my hazard lights.
I get out of the car to ask this young man if everything is alright. A car pulls up behind me and tells me to be careful, that he is on Meth. The guy begins to pound the hood of the elderly woman’s car and wave the stick.
I told him to get away from her car and I pulled my gun.
Breaking leather (removing my gun from the holster) is not something I do lightly but this guy was tweaking and scaring the elderly woman.
He starts coming toward me waving the sticks, bouncing from side and side and repeatedly saying “I need help!” I ordered him to stop, but he kept coming toward me. I once again yelled for him to stop and get on the ground.
I see up ahead a man with his hand on his hip and I immediately knew that he also was armed. As the other armed man approaches I realize that he is also one of our church’s Safety & Security team members. We both are ordering him to get on the ground and it was like he had no idea how to or what the command even meant.
Finally as he is almost laying on the ground a car quickly drives up between myself and the guy and pulls him into the car (stick and all) and takes off. My guess is they heard on the scanner that the police was en-route, knew him and came to help him get away.
Many of you are reading this waiting for the punch line because … well, it is me – but I am serious.
Watching this guy was watching myself many years ago – I was that young broken strung-out soul – higher than a kite – needing help.
I do not cry easily – but today (in my comfort zone) I cried.
I cried because this young man stopped beating on that woman’s hood, that he moved away from her, that he stopped charging me. I cried because he stopped and I didn’t have to shoot him. Of that I am glad but I still hear his cries, “I need help”
I prayed all during church for this young man. I ask that all my prayer warrior friends also pray. Please pray that this young man when he comes down that he will still see that he needs help and that he will get help. Let’s lift this young lost soul up – let’s call him Ricky … because as he is, once was I.”
If only all of us has the control and compassion Jaton had Sunday…….