Tennessee woman fends off ‘would-be kidnapper’ by smearing her dog’s FECES in his face


Tennessee woman fends off ‘would-be kidnapper’ by smearing her dog’s FECES in his face

  • Ward allegedly approached the woman as she was walking her dog along a Tennessee nature reserve trail 
  • He then tried to grab her and drag her into the woods, Knoxville police allege
  • She resisted, and smeared the bag of dog feces in his face
  • Ward then allegedly pulled a knife, and snatched the woman’s phone away as she tried to dial 911 before running off and escaping by boat on a nearby river
  • Ward was arrested two days later at a convenience store when a man recognized him from a police bulletin and performed a citizens arrest
  • He was charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery  


Knoxville police say Michael James Ward approached a woman walking her dog along a nature preserve path, and suddenly tried to pull her into the woods

A woman walking her dog in a Tennessee nature reserve fended a man who allegedly tried to kidnap her by smearing a bag of the dog’s feces in his face, police said.   

Michael James Ward, 47, allegedly approached the 30-year-old victim as she was walking along a path in the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area on August 22 at around 1.30pm, the Knoxville Police Department reported.

He asked her for water before allegedly grabbing her and trying to pull her into the woods, cops claim. 

Ward allegedly punched her multiple times, causing cuts to her head and face, but she fought back, and at one point smeared the bag of her dog’s feces on his face.

He backed off and apologized, but when the woman told him to go away, Ward allegedly pulled a small knife out and advanced on her again, WBIR reported. 

She began screaming and kicking Ward, and tried to dial 911 on her cell phone, which Ward then allegedly snatched away from her before fleeing towards the river. 

The 30-year-old victim was reportedly walking her dog along the path in the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area (pictured) on August 22, when Ward allegedly approached her, and she fought back, smearing a bag of her dog's feces in his face

The 30-year-old victim was reportedly walking her dog along the path in the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area (pictured) on August 22, when Ward allegedly approached her, and she fought back, smearing a bag of her dog’s feces in his face

Ward allegedly escaped by boat after the encounter, and police put a warrant out for his arrest

Michael James Ward

Ward, who police said is homeless, allegedly escaped by boat after the encounter, and police put a warrant out for his arrest

The woman was able to call the police with another trail walker’s cell phone, and they responded with a K-9 unit.

The police dogs tracked Ward’s scent to a nearby river, where he was believed to have escaped by boat, according to WATE.  

Police also found Ward’s shoes and a towel nearby in a clearing in the woods. 

The victim was able to identify Ward, who authorities say is homeless, from photos, and police put out a warrant for his arrest. 

Two days later, on the morning of August 24, a man spotted Ward at a convenience store off the John Sevier Highway, and noticed him from a social media bulletin Knoxville police had posted online. 

The man reportedly asked Ward for his name, and when he confirmed it, performed a citizen’s arrest, and held Ward until police could arrived.

Ward was arraigned on August 25, and charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping.  

Police found that Ward had cut out a clearing in the woods at the preserve and left his shoes and a towel there, but a K-9s lost his scent after he escaped on a nearby river

Police found that Ward had cut out a clearing in the woods at the preserve and left his shoes and a towel there, but a K-9s lost his scent after he escaped on a nearby river 

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