Police: Mask dispute leads to Tennessee man stabbing one person, swinging bats at officers


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — An argument about wearing a face mask led to a stabbing at a Nashville apartment complex and police say when they confronted the suspect he swung two metal bats at the officers, according to an affidavit.

The report says Jerry Cowan and the victim got into a dispute Sunday morning over Cowan not wearing a face mask. The victim told police he started to back away after Cowan first pulled out a pocket knife.

Cowan then allegedly took out a long blade with a makeshift wooden handle and stabbed the victim in the arm and sliced his chin. The victim said he ran into his fiancé’s residence in the building to escape Cowan.

Police responding to the unit where the victim said Cowan lived found a blood trail in the hallway of the first floor. The trail led officers to a front door covered in blood. Officers knocked on the door and gave verbal commands for anyone inside to come out.

Cowan could be heard on the other side of the door, the affidavit said, yelling that officers would have to kill them and he was not going to come out. A woman was inside the residence as well, yelling at Cowan to calm down.

Officers later said Cowan screamed at her that “he had something for her” and there was the sound of a scuffle behind the door followed by a metallic object hitting the back of the door twice.

Fearing for the woman’s life, officers kicked open the door, according to the affidavit. When it opened police say Cowan was standing on the other side with two metal baseball bats, one in each hand.

He swung toward an officer and slammed the door back shut, according to police. Officers again kicked the door and were able to wedge it open and use a taser on Cowan. The officers went to take Cowan into custody but the taser failed and Cowan began swinging the bats at officers. Eventually, officers were able to tase Cowan and take him into custody.

Court records show Cowan is facing aggravated assault and resisting arrest charges. He was being held Sunday on a $76,000 bond.

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