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KPD: Suspect arrested and charged for vandalism at Knoxville mayor's home

Officials said that Christopher Greg Fortner, 44, of Sevierville was arrested Tuesday.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — UPDATE (Jan. 19, 4:45 p.m.): The Knoxville Police Department said that a suspect was identified and arrested for vandalism at Mayor Indya Kincannon's home.

On Friday, police said they identified Christopher Greg Fortner, 44, of Sevierville, as the suspect. At around 12 p.m. Tuesday, officers were sent to the Food City on Western Avenue after receiving reports of a suspicious person matching Fortner's description.

Police said that Fortner briefly resisted arrest before being taken into custody without further incident. He has been charged with vandalism and resisting arrest.

They said that they are continuing to investigate the incident and additional charges could be added based on that investigation.

According to authorities, someone late Sunday or early Monday spray-painted the word “Death” in black paint on the back door of the Knox County Health Department. It was painted on the glass on the door.  

Credit: KCSO
Christopher Fortner

Police commended two city of Knoxville employees for helping identify and locate Fortner, after they saw his vehicle and reported that it matched the description in reports.

“I want to extend my sincere thank you to all of the neighbors who assisted my family the night my home was vandalized, the KPD officers who worked diligently to help track down the suspect and the two city employees whose vigilance led to his arrest," Kincannon said in a statement.

"Attacks or threats made against any public official will not be tolerated in our City. Even in the face of uncertainty and differences, we must treat each other with respect.”

Original story

The Knoxville Police Department is investigating after a vandalism report at Mayor Indya Kincannon's home Sunday night.

The incident was reported around 7 p.m.

When officers arrived on the scene, they observed the word “Death” spray-painted in black on the backside of a detached garage at Kincannon’s house. 

Credit: KPD

A witness stated that he was walking his dog with his family when a male walked out from behind the detached garage. 

The witness and Kincannon confronted the suspect, who ran to his car and fled the scene, police said.

According to police, the suspect left the scene in an older model white Toyota Camry with Tennessee tags. 

Investigators and patrol units are trying to locate the suspect.

Kincannon issued a statement saying, "Violence, vandalism, and threats are never viable means to an end, under any circumstance. I hope KPD is able to apprehend the person responsible. Despite the fact that this was obviously quite personal and hurtful to my family, we will continue to urge unity in this divisive time.”