Rockwood Man Arrested in Cumberland County Facing Several Charges

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A Rockwood man is facing several charges in Cumberland County after he allegedly took a vehicle without permission and tried to set a home on fire. The incident started when law enforcement received a call from the owner of a silver 2018 Chevy Equinox reportedly stolen by 32-year-old Justin Hill Barnes of Rockwood. Officers later learned Barnes was at a home on the 400 block of Houston Road allegedly attempting to set the dwelling on fire with homemade explosives (Molotov cocktails).

Barnes fled the scene in the vehicle he took and was intercepted by law enforcement on Highway 127. A chase started heading onto Highway 68 towards Rhea County reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles an hour.

Spike strips were deployed by deputies at the bottom of the mountain entering Spring City. Barnes hit them and continued until the driver’s side front tire came off just before Highway 27. Barnes was apprehended without further incident.

A search of the Chevy revealed two Bud Light beer bottles full of gasoline with a cut up green shirt stuffed in the top.

Barnes was arrested for aggravated arson, possession of a prohibited weapon or explosive, reckless endangerment, theft of property, evading arrest, and reckless driving. He was transported to the jail in Crossville and initially placed under bonds totaling $177,000.

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