Basketball brawl leads to arrest

By Ed Brock

A fight on the basketball court of a Jonesboro church recreation center led to the arrest of a young man who was in possession of a stolen gun.

When officers pulled the gun from beneath the driver's seat of a pickup belonging to 19-year-old Victor D. Tennie of Jonesboro it was cocked with a round in the chamber, Jonesboro Police Sgt. Jim Roberts said.

The incident began around 10 a.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro's Recreational Outreach Center on Church Street, said Landers Nolley, the victim in the case. Nolley, 30, said he was playing basketball with Tennie and several other people when an argument broke out between he and Tennie.

"You know how people get hot headed," Nolley said.

Roberts said Tennie left the building after the argument with Nolley, saying he was going to kill Nolley.

"The bystanders said that they thought he was going for a gun," Roberts said.

Tennie left in his vehicle with several other people as police arrived and the bystanders pointed him out as he left. Jonesboro officers stopped the truck at Mill and N. Main streets.

The officers found a Springfield Armory .45 caliber automatic handgun under the driver's seat. The gun had been reported as stolen out of Fayette County and Roberts said it was cocked and loaded.

Tennie has been charged with disorderly conduct and theft by receiving stolen property, Jonesboro Police Sgt. Wayne Woods said.

Wes Agnew, business administrator for the ROC, said the center has good security and events like this are uncommon.

"The amount of people we have over here it's very minimal that there's a problem," Agnew said. "They know if they cause any problems they're out."

Nolley, who lives in Hampton and owns A American locksmith company, said young people today just don't respect their elders.

"They don't want to pay their dues," Nolley said.

He remembers when people settled arguments without going for a gun. He also said it was especially bad that such an event should happen at a church.

"It's good that they have a lot of police presence on this place because this is sacred ground," Nolley said.