MARYVILLE, Tenn. — A Greenback woman faces multiple reckless endangerment charges after speeding through a COVID-19 vaccination tent to protest the vaccine, according to the Blount Co. Sheriff's Office.
It happened Monday morning in the parking lot of Foothills Mall in Maryville, and a Blount Co. deputy who was working the event and sitting in his cruiser nearby witnessed the entire incident.
According to his report, a blue Chrysler SUV caught his eye because of the driver's unusual behavior. Typically, vehicles stop and sign in with National Guard personnel to get the vaccine, then proceed slowly through a course outlined with cones into a large tent to get the injection. They then exit the tent and park for about 15 minutes to be sure the driver doesn't suffer any immediate side effects from the vaccine.
That's not what happened in this case.
Deputy Kevin Snider said he saw the SUV "traveling at a high rate of speed through the closed cone course and through an enclosed tent" then "exit the tent and continue to drive recklessly through the cone course."
There were more than a dozen people working inside that tent, and Deputy Snider said several of them ran up to his patrol car and told him that the SUV almost hit several people under the tent.
Snider followed the SUV and pulled it over on Morganton Road. The driver was Virginia Christine Lewis Brown, 36, who told him "she was driving through to protest the vaccine."
The deputy arrested Brown and transported her to the Blount County Detention Facility. On the way, he said Brown made several statements about protesting the vaccine.
Brown was charged with seven counts of reckless endangerment.
The BCSO said on Thursday she was released on bonds totaling $21,000. She is scheduled to appear in Blount County General Sessions Court at 9 a.m. on June 7 for a hearing.
In his report, Snider said he spoke with everyone inside the tent. Seven of those people believed they were in "imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury" and claimed the vehicle came within inches or feet of hitting them.
Several witnesses said they believed the driver was yelling things like "no vaccine" as she drove through.
"They thought the driver was going to kill them," he stated in his report.