Lebanon man claims Sumner County Commissioner forced him to withdraw money from ATM; calls 911 & chases him

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Lebanon Police say 21-year-old Travis Gaither called 911 and claimed Sumner County Commissioner & State Representative candidate Luke Tinsley forced him to withdraw cash from an ATM and give it to him. Gaither then chased the vehicle, providing updates to the dispatcher, asking police to meet him at Tinsley’s house. The investigation showed the money was a loan, and he didn’t think he had to pay it back. He was charged with misuse of 911 and possession of the marijuana in this glovebox. Gaither is Tinsley’s former campaign manager for his State Representative run.

On March 25th, several officers were in pursuit of a vehicle on West Main street that was suspect in a strong-arm robbery. According to affidavits, when the stop was finally made at Cario Bend Road, driver Luke Tinsley told officers he was bewildered as to why he had been apprehended and cuffed. Officers explained to Tinsley that a 911 call from Travis Gaither alerted authorities that he had robbed Gaither of $750. Mr. Tinsley corrected that accusation, stating that the two had deliberately met so that Gaither could repay Mr. Tinsley for a $750 loan.

Tinsley noted that Gaither put up a bit of an argument because he felt, due to their friendship, the debt should have been forgiven. When police spoke with Gaither he denied telling 911 that he was robbed or forced to do anything, rather that he wanted officers to meet him at Mr. Tinsley’s house. After reviewing the 911 recording the officer determined that to be untrue and that Gaither had, in fact, told 911 dispatch he was forced to hand over cash at an automated teller machine and that he was giving updates to dispatch while chasing the perpetrator. After this investigation and upon a tow search of Gaither’s vehicle, officers also discovered a “green leafy substance” in his glove compartment believed to be marijuana.

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Sumner County Commissioner – Luke Tinsley

Luke Tinsley is a Sumner County Commissioner for District 6 who announced his run to challenge State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver in January. When former United States Representative Diane Black backed Tinsley in January Travis Gaither was quoted in the press release as being Tinsley’s campaign chair.

Travis Gaither was arrested and charged with misuse of 911 and possession of schedule VI, marijuana. He was released on his own recognizance. Scoop Media reached out to both parties, and Tinsley requested to be left out of the article but stated Gaither was no longer a part of his campaign, and the loan was of a personal nature, and not related to the campaign. Gaither stated the marijuana was not his, and he had not used any, and has taken a private drug test, and volunteered for another. Gaither stated he accepted all responsibility for involving police in what was a civil matter.

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