A Newport man and woman said they were robbed at gunpoint while at an overlook on the Foothills Parkway last week.
According to a press release from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the robbery happened around 4:30 pm on Wednesday, April 25, on the Foothills Parkway-East near Cosby.
The man and woman told investigators they were sitting in their vehicle at the overlook when they were confronted by two people dressed in dark clothing and wearing ski masks.
They said one of the suspects assaulted the man by spraying him with pepper spray and hitting him on the head with a silver colored handgun. The two suspects then took the victim's 2004 maroon Nissan sedan and drove east on the parkway towards I-40. A park employee came across the victims a short while after the attack and reported the incident.
Cocke County deputies and Park Rangers responded and recovered the car which had been abandoned along the Parkway. Clothes and other items were found in the area that are believed to belong to the suspects.
The man victim was taken by ambulance to Newport Medical Center where he was treated and released.
Park investigators do not believe this was a random crime against a park visitor.
Chief Ranger Clay Jordan stated, "We are pursuing leads in the case suggestive that the victims may have been specifically targeted in a preplanned robbery."
Park officials are asking anyone with information concerning this incident to call park investigators at (828) 497-1936.