Ashland City man accused of slashing boss’ throat with steak knife

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An Ashland City man is accused of going to his Berry Hill office and allegedly slashing his boss’ throat with a steak knife.  

According to an arrest affidavit, John Herren is charged with attempted criminal homicide after allegedly attacking his supervisor Friday afternoon.  

According to the affidavit, Ashland City Police was waiting for the 40-year-old when he returned Friday around 3:30 p.m.  

Dash cameras showed Herren’s Cadillac SUV drive into his complex, and a moment later, three Ashland City police officers, with weapons drawn, take him into custody without incident. 

His boss, Roy Dale told News 2, Herren worked at the civil engineering firm, Dale & Associates for over 10 years as a designer.  

Dale said the job can be stressful working with clients that include Metro employees, Metro Council and the public, and recently Herren had told his bosses he was feeling stressed and needed some time off.  

“John was just expressing to us he was having a difficult time with that and was very stressed with that and really wanted to do something different with the company and we were happy to accommodate him. But still he was struggling, and he took off and when he came back this happened,” Dale said.  

Approximately three weeks before the attack, on July 29, Herren’s mother asked Ashland City police to run by her son’s home and check on his welfare. 

Body cameras captured officer’s interactions with Herren at the time.  

When asked if he was planning to harm himself or anything like that, Herren told the officer, “No sir. I’m actually trying to do a little work from home right now. I appreciate you all stopping by concerned.”  

Before leaving the officer is heard telling Herren, “Well, if you need something, give us a call ok?”  

After the visit, the officer explained to Herren’s family member that there was no basis for any type of police action. 

“I just wanted to let you know we went out there and talked to him. He came to the door and talked to him for a few minutes. He seemed ok. I asked if he had any intent on harming himself,” the officer told his family.  

When asked if the family had any alternatives, the officer said, “Unfortunately, he is a grown adult. So, we can’t force him to see anyone he doesn’t want to see. We can’t force our way into his home without some type of probable cause. At this point, if he has a mental health issue you might talk to his doctor.”  

Herren remains jailed on a $250,000 bond and is charged with attempted criminal homicide.  

According to the company CEO, the victim was lucky his artery was not severed, and he needed 16 stitches to close the wound. 

EMS personnel noted the wound was “very close to a main artery.” 

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Herren does not have a previous arrest history in the state of Tennessee.  

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