Burglary getaway truck hits Hawkins Co. homeowner

(WBIR-Surgoinsville, TN) The man hit by the getaway vehicle from an attempted burglary inside his Hawkins County home says he has no idea who would target him.

"But when they saw me, they jumped into the truck," Leonard Gilwreath recalled. "Of course, it was light outside and dark in here and I can see the outline of the people."

On January 8, Gilwreath said he was driving back from Kingsport with his wife when they noticed their garage door open with a unknown pickup truck inside. Burglars inside noticed the man, got back inside the vehicle and attempted drive away -- striking Gilwreath twice. There was also damage done to the house and the victim's car.

"Wrist is still green," Gilwreath said, sustaining injuries to his arm and shoulders.

"Mr. Gilwreath, he did receive some injuries. They were non-life threatening, but there were some fairly severe injuries," Hawkins County Chief Deputy Tony Allen said.

So far, the only information sheriff's detectives have is the getaway truck was a maroon pickup, believed to be a Chevy, with a missing passenger side mirror, and significant damage to the driver side.

Chief Allen said the suspects are about 5'10", one of them has a beard. It is believed the men could be contractors, which is why a tool belt was left behind (pictured).

"There was a tool belt that came off the truck. This did not belong to Mr. Gilwreath. So we're assuming they're from the two suspects," Allen added.

The victim said nothing was taken, but there was damage that will cost him thousands of dollars. He said he may never recover, emotionally speaking.

"You feel the effects of it, you know? And I probably will for a while til this gets blocked from my mind -- which it will never be," Gilwreath said.

If you have information the case, contact the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office at (423) 272-4848.


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