McClure Street, Red Boilings Springs allegedly assaulted a resident of the east side
city with a heavy metal flashlight, and was subsequently charged with aggravated
The man Cook allegedly struck, Jack Pelham, 833, Sue Drive, Red Boiling Springs
sustained a 4 cm. gash to the left side of his head, and RBS Police Patrolman Doug
McDonald, who responded to the Hillwood Shopping Center scene of the altercation
stated in an affidavit of complaint that "upon my arrival Mr. Jack Pelham was
standing in the parking lot (in front of Bill Martin's grocery) and had visible
injuries; his head, neck and shirt had a substantial amount of blood visible."
Pelham later went to Macon County General Hospital for treatment.
A confrontation apparently occurred at about 8:30 Wednesday morning. Pelham, who
publishes an on-line and home-published newsletter critical of RBS Mayor Kenneth
Hollis and the financial practices of the city government, told police that John
Cook approached him in the Bill Martins parking lot while he (Pelham) was walking
out of the store with his groceries and began a verbal argument. (Pelham) then
stated that Cook shoved him and when he tried to defend himself a scuffle occurred.
Both men were on the ground in a physical altercation and blows were exchanged,
although in a counter-suit filed later the same day by John Cook, Cook alleges that
it was Pelham who assaulted him first.
The confrontation and altercation were witnessed by several persons, and statements
were taken by Red Boiling Springs Police. The affidavit of complaint states that one
witness told police that (she) observed the subject who was fighting with Pelham go
to his truck where he got a metal object and strike (Pelham) in the head.
Pelham, who had a cell phone camera, took a photo of Cook reaching into his truck to
retrieve the heavy mag light with which he allegedly assaulted Pelham.
Cook then got into his truck and left the scene before police arrived. He apparently
traveled to the Macon County Justice Center and was taken into custody there as a
He was fingerprinted, booked and released on $500 bond with a hearing in Sessions
Court set for Monday, October 27.
In a second, counter affidavit of complaint filed later that same day by Cook
against Pelham, alleging "assault with bodily injury," Cook states that he "stopped
to talk with Pelham...(asking) him to keep him out of his newsletters."
Pelham told Nashville Channel 4 News reporter Nancy Amons (who was in RBS that
morning with a camera crew with the intent of looking into allegations Pelham was
making about the city's finances) that Cook's words to him were: "You'd better keep
me out of your damn paper."
Cook could not be reached for comment. For those who do not know, John Cook briefly
served as Red Boiling Springs mayor in 1997-98, is a business entrepreneur and real
estate buyer, and former owner of one of the two newspapers in Lafayette. He still
owns community newspapers in Westmoreland and Portland in Sumner County.
Pelham is more than willing to talk about the incident. He publishes an on-line blog
which can be accessed at www.springcleaning.wordpress.com.
Cook's complaint against Pelham was served Thursday afternoon, September 11 at the
Justice Center, where Pelham was also a "walk-in." He was similarly booked,
fingerprinted and released on $500 bond. However, no court date was stated on the