FRANKLIN COUNTY, Tenn. – An Estill Springs man is out on $125,00 bond after police say he fired a shotgun at teens who were toilet papering their principal’s yard. 65-year-old Dale Bryant Farris is accused of firing at least two shots, striking a 15-year-old boy in the right foot, inner left knee, right palm, right thigh and right side of his torso above the waistline.
Franklin County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Chris Guess said the boy “got peppered pretty good.” With regards to the suspect, Guess had this to say: “The problem is they were not on his property and they were not doing anything to his property. Some kids got out at a residence over there to roll it with toilet paper and this gentleman came out of his residence a couple of houses over and shot one of the teenagers who was rolling this other guy’s yard.”
According to Guess, the “other guy” was Huntland School Principal Ken Bishop, who does not plan to file charges against the teens.
The teenager is recovering from his wounds while Farris faces a charge of aggravated assault and another of reckless endangerment. His hearing is set for Dec. 5 in Franklin County General Sessions Court.
According to Franklin County criminal records Farris has no history of violent behavior nor is there any documented history between him and any of the teens involved.
With toilet papering being a glorious part of the Halloween tradition, the incident has authorities a bit concerned:“We want everybody to have a good time, but we want everybody to be safe,” Guess said. He went on to suggest that residents notify law enforcement if they believe property is being vandalized.
Toilet papering is serious business and police urge witnesses to not take matters into their own hands. As for trick-or-treaters, Guess had this piece of advice: “Don’t do anything that would cause anybody distress or make them think you might do them harm.”
Or you can blown out with a shotgun.