Ronnie Lee Hardesty is no pillar of salt, but he did interrupt a Tennessee church service by declaring he was high on bath salts, cops say.
The 36-year-old was allegedly holding a hammer when he burst into the Ross Campground Church in Kingsport on Sunday and made his announcement, according to Times News.
Hawkins County Sheriff's deputies said Hardesty appeared to be high -- as he allegedly admitted to the congregation -- when they found him near the church grounds.
"[Officers told] Mr. Hardesty to come to us, and he stated, ‘I’m not going back to jail’ and refused to put the hammer on the ground," Deputy Jason Montgomery told the paper. "[We] unholstered our weapons and gave verbal commands to drop his weapon, at which time Mr. Hardesty began to run toward an open field to cross a wire fence."
Hardesty then allegedly swung the hammer at officers and started a scuffle. He tried to flee, but was taken into custody after a short chase on foot, according to the Associated Press.
Deputies later found hammer marks on the church door. Hardesty was found to have a syringe hidden in his sock, and reportedly admitted to banging on the church door with his weapon.
He was charged with aggravated assault against the two officers, attempted burglary, public intoxication, resisting arrest, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Hardesty has a long lists of arrests over the past few years, including charges of failure to appear in court and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Also on HuffPost:
This photo, courtesy of the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, depicts what a packet of bath salts can look like.
In Pennsylvania in July 2012, Carla Murphy had a baby, then allegedly took bath salts and attacked nurses and cops. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/06/carla-murphy-had-baby-smoked-bath-salts_n_1653979.html" target="_hplink">Read more.</a>
Matthew Hammond allegedly snorted "a lot" of bath salts, ate feces and then challenged a cop to a fight, with predictable results in Georgia in July 2012. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/11/matthew-hammond-snorted-bath-salts-feces_n_1664687.html" target="_hplink">Read more.</a>
A medical examiner in Miami-Dade County confirmed that bath salts weren't to blame in the case of infamous naked face-eating suspect Rudy Eugene. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/rudy-eugene-face-marijuana-medical-examiner-results_n_1632253.html" target="_hplink">Read more.</a>
Bath Salt Naysayer?
A nude man in Florida was caught on tape in early July 2012 humping the air and screaming "Bath Salts are BAD for you!!!" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/03/nude-man-in-venice-beach-_n_1645108.html" target="_hplink">Read more.</a> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KPhfWfBCak&list=UUf2tYKAm6wPNCNxfEXzbc4A&index=1&feature=plcp" target="_hplink">Entire video </a>from Youtube user gnomicmedia.
Shane Shuyler allegedly exposed himself to a 3-year-old while on bath salts in Florida in June 2012. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/12/shane-schuyler-bath-salts-indecent-exposure_n_1589547.html" target="_hplink">Read more.</a>
21-year-old homeless man allegedly growled "I'm going to eat you" and tried to bite a cop while cruisin' on some bath salts and Four Loko in Miami in June 2012. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/brandon-deleon-high-on-cloud-9_n_1570560.html" target="_hplink"> Read more.</a>
Ronald Sellers of Tennessee was allegedly early on the bath salts trend. According to authorities, the man hallucinated a burglary and called the cops to his home while high on the street drug way back in February 2012. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/bath-salts-hallucinations-burglars-ronald-sellers_n_1311189.html" target="_hplink">Read more.</a>
A drugged-out Mahmound was arrested in Louisville in June 2011 for disorderly conduct, among other charges, after cops found him drinking hand sanitizer. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/15/man-drinks-hand-sanitizer-louisville_n_877335.html" target="_hplink">Read more.</a>
Robert William White
A crazed 20-year-old man said to be high on the synthetic drug bludgeoned an elderly woman in the head in late June 2012, according to authorities. He claimed he was an alien who talked to Jesus. (<em>Los Angeles Times </em>reported.) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/robert-william-white-la-bath-salts_n_1624688.html" target="_hplink"> Read more.</a>