Former VA Counselor Who Rammed Vehicle Into Ooltewah Man's House Is Involuntarily Committed

  • Friday, April 19, 2024

A Signal Mountain man who drove a truck into the kitchen of an Ooltewah man, heavily damaging several of the man's vehicles and pulling down the house's electrical panel, has been ordered committed to a mental health facility.

Judge Amanda Dunn signed the order after Phillip Bryant Elliott earlier pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

She did so after officials of Volunteer Behavioral Health said, "The results of our evaluation indicate that he does have a mental illness ors serious emotional disturbance. . . all available less drastic alternatives to placement in a hospital or treatment resource are unsuitable to meet his needs."

The incident caused over $60,000 in damage at the house on Balata Drive.

Elliott was charged with attempted first-degree murder and vandalism.

Arriving deputies who were clearing the home found an older man in a back bedroom holding a large revolver. It was learned that he was the homeowner and was cleaning the unloaded gun when Elliott drove into his house.

Elliott's green Chevrolet Silverado was entirely inside the kitchen, it was stated. The homeowner said Elliott had been trying to kill him.

The homeowner said after Elliott arrived, he ran into his neighbor's home through an open door. He said the neighbors ran out of the house when he came in holding the gun.

Deputies found Elliott on foot near the entrance to the neighborhood. He said he had gone to the man's house to kill him. He said he formerly was a counselor for Veterans Affairs and had met the Ooltewah man there. He said Elliott had once been his counselor and they were friends at one time.

Elliott said he believed that the Ooltewah man "had killed kids while driving a truck in the 1970s."

He said he had come to the man's house twice before to kill him, but did not go through with it.

Authorities said Elliott busted the windows and put dents in multiple vehicles at the Ooltewah residence.

A neighbor told of hearing a loud crash and then yelling coming from the house.

Elliott, who was 53 at the time of the incident, is a combat veteran.

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