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Domestic assault leads to meth lab discovery

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By Jennifer Caldwell

 Investigation into a roadside assault led LaFollette Police officers to the discovery of a meth lab on Sunday afternoon.

Officer John Baker responded to a call of a domestic situation at the intersection of Iveydale and Highway 25W.

Arrest records indicate a witness observed a male allegedly beating a female inside a white Nissan Maxima. 

According to information provided by a witness, the female attempted to flee from the vehicle but her assailant “tackled her and dragged her back to the car by her hair and arm” and began assaulting her again.

When the male, who was later identified as Kenneth Scott Hatmaker, 24, of 2404 South Highway 25W, spotted the witness he drove off at a high rate of speed and “nearly struck several vehicles passing in the opposite lane with oncoming traffic,” the complaint stated.

During the incident Hatmaker allegedly attempted to force Officer Steve Wallen off the road. Hatmaker managed to elude Wallen, but officers were able to determine his identity a short time later when they discovered his car.

When officers went to Hatmaker’s residence they located the victim, Victoria Mari Brock, 19, also of 2404 South Highway 25W.

Brock told officers the assault had begun at a local restaurant.

According to arrest reports, Brock said she tried to exit the vehicle at the LaFollette eatery, but Hatmaker refused to let her remove her child from the car.

Baker’s report states Brock had red marks and bruises on her arms, face and neck. Records also indicate her mouth appeared to be swollen and her lips had been bleeding, but she refused medical attention.

When officers obtained consent to search the residence several components used in the manufacture of methamphetamine were discovered throughout the home.

Officer Pam Jarrett reported items such as rubbing alcohol, plastic bottles containing plastic tubing and acid, sodium hydroxide, ammonia nitrate and lye were all found during the search.

Brock was charged with manufacturing meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Hatmaker was charged with assault by domestic violence, aggravated kidnapping, reckless endangerment, manufacturing meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.