A Local Contractor's Life Is Threatened With A Machete

A man was sent to the hospital this morning after police say he tried to attack his boss with a machete. Police say 37-year-old Kevin Statler, was hit in the head with a hammer after he tried to attack his boss. Statler is now in the hospital. It all began this morning around 9:00 a.m. at a construction site in Tyler on Hollystone Drive. That's in the Hollytree subdivision.

Bill Arnold, Statler's boss, says he hired Statler as a framer last Friday. He says yesterday Statler walked off the job only to return this morning, demanding he get paid.

"I said meet me out here Friday and when all the hands get paid, we do one draw a week, I'll give everybody there pay and that wasn't good enough for him," said Arnold. That's when Statler went to his car and grabbed his machete.

"We were in the rafters up there working, so we had a birds eye view of him and then he got out of the car with a machete and his framing hammer and he came back up there," said Arnold. Arnold and his crew started shooting at Statler with their nail guns. Statler then jumped down and began cutting the hoses to the nail guns. Statler began screaming, he had a gun, and he was going to kill Arnold and his crew.

"I yelled down to the cut man down there Lynn to get my cell phone that was charging in the truck and call 911," said Arnold. Arnold says he tried to talk to Statler, asking him to calm down. Statler then grabbed his machete and took a swing at Arnold. Bobby Trapp, a fellow employee stepped in to help.

"He turned around to come and hit him, and that's why I hit him with the hammer because he was going to take a full force swing at him," said Trapp. Arnold says he is very thankful his crew was there to protect him.

"It's pretty amazing," said Arnold. "They are good guys and I appreciate Bobby for what he did." Right now, Arnold says he's just glad everyone's safe.

Police say Statler tried to drive away after he was hit with a hammer. Officers caught up with him about a mile away and brought him to a local hospital where he's being treated. Arnold says he will be pressing charges for aggravated assault. Police say the employees that fought back will not be charged.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com