A Sequoyah High School teacher was charged Sunday with allegedly holding at gunpoint teenagers who were ghost-hunting in a graveyard on Saturday night, authorities said.
Stacy Swallows, 45, of Shipley Cemetery Road in Sale Creek, was booked at 8:52 a.m. Sunday on nine counts each of aggravated assault and false imprisonment, according to records at the Hamilton County Jail. He was being held on a $180,000 bond, records show.
Janice Atkinson, spokeswoman for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, said police were dispatched at 10:42 p.m. Saturday to Shipley Hollow Road at Shipley Cemetery Road in reference to a shots-fired call.
On their way, police were told that Swallows had several people held at gunpoint, and he was waiting for police to arrive, she said.
Upon arrival, police confiscated an assault rifle from Swallows and began to investigate, Atkinson said.
The teens, aged 16 to 19, “gave written statements advising that they had gone to the cemetery to follow up on a ghost story that they had read about on an Internet website concerning the Shipley Cemetery,” Atkinson said in a release.
The teens stated that, as they were leaving, they came in contact with Swallows, who parked his vehicle in the roadway to block their travel, police said.
“Mr. Shipley displayed a rifle, pointed it at them and instructed them to stay where they were until police arrived,” Atkinson said.
Swallows is a diesel mechanics teacher at Sequoyah High, newspaper archives indicate. Some of his students won awards in diesel engine competitions earlier this year.
Swallows also owns Diesel Performance & Repair in Sale Creek.