Man sought in machete incident in custody after overnight chase

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CANNON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A man wanted for beating his girlfriend with a baseball bat and threatening a man with a machete was spotted leaving a bar near Murfreesboro early Sunday morning.

Michael Thomas, 29,  was seen at the Handlebar on East Main Street around 1 a.m. Sunday. As he was fleeing, officers say he hit a Rutherford County Sheriff deputy’s vehicle.

The search for Thomas spanned from East Main Street in Rutherford County to DeKalb County, where he was taken into custody.

Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Aviation Unit and deputies from Rutherford and Cannon counties tracked Thomas throughout the early morning hours.

He is now being in held in DeKalb County and is charged with aggravated assault and kidnapping. Charges are pending for hitting the deputy’s car, according to the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

Thomas has been on the run since Wednesday when officers say he held his girlfriend and three children inside a house on Locke Creek Road. Thomas was repeatedly beating his girlfriend with a baseball bat, according to Sheriff Darrell Young, Cannon County.

Officers said when they arrived at the house on Locke Creek Road, Thomas took off in a car.

Deputies laid out spike strips and said Thomas hit those, making it about a mile-and-a-half to Hoover Mill Road where he ditched the car. Officers say Thomas grabbed a machete and ran into Larry Nixon’s house and demanded his car.

Nixon said he believed Thomas was more scared than he was.

“He was scared. He had the machete in his hand, he kept waving the machete telling me, ‘Man I don’t want to cut you, I don’t want to hurt you.’ He said, ‘Where’s the car keys?’ and I looked at him and said, ‘The car keys are on the wall beside the back door.’ That’s when he turned and took off for the back door, he didn’t take a car. I turned back to the bedroom to get the gun,” said Nixon.

Deputies say Thomas already had several warrants out for his arrest before the incident on Wednesday, including a parole violation from a burglary conviction in Kentucky.

This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.

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