BY KEN LITTLE
An armed man who went to a church and allegedly menaced a woman was charged Sunday afternoon with aggravated domestic assault, Greeneville police Officer Stephen Hixson said in a report.
Eric D. Sinks, 34, remains in custody at the Greene County Detention Center.
Police responded to a 911 call from a woman who said her ex-husband was threatening to kill himself and had been sending threatening text messages to her.
The caller told police he showed up at her church on West Main Street "and did have a .44 Magnum."
Sinks allegedly demanded to see the victim's cell phone and was refused. The victim tried to take her children into the church but Sinks "grabbed" and "pushed" her, the report said.
One of her children went for help from a group gathered outside the church. Sinks left, but threatened to harm himself before driving away, the report said.
Sinks was located parked in the lot of the Fit Club, at the intersection of Benbow Road and the 70 Bypass.
As officers arrived, Sinks, who was dressed in "military-syle clothing," was seen "fidgeting with the pocket in the chest of his jacket."
Sinks was ordered to show his hands and, on the second command, complied. He was directed to walk around the back of his car "with his hands raised," the report said.
Raising his hands caused Sinks' jacket to pull up, and officers "could plainly observe that [he] was armed with a large handgun," the report said.
"I then warned [Sinks] what would happen if he touched his weapon," the report added.
Sinks was ordered to lie prone and keep his head down, "in order to prevent him from observing the officer's position," the report said.
Sinks had to be "repeatedly reminded to keep his head down," the report said.
When backup officers arrived, Sinks was handcuffed and disarmed.
During a search after he was taken into custody, a tan suede pouch was found in Sinks' right cargo pants pocket, the report said.
"A glass pipe was protruding from the pouch," the report said.
Also found during the search were three pink plastic bags containing 2.8 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine, the report said.
Sinks was carrying 24 rounds of .44 Magnum ammunition. All of the ammunition was soft-point-type bullets, but 12 of the rounds "had been fabricated into a hollow-point round," the report said.
"Other items of illicit narcotics use [were] discovered on Eric Sinks and in his vehicle," the report said.
Additional charges are pending against Sinks, police said.