UPDATE 4/29/20: A GoFundMe has been setup to try to get the decorated officer a replacement truck.
On what should have been a day full of catching big bass on famed Chickamauga Lake quickly turned into an arson investigation at a local boat ramp. Two anglers' trucks were broken into and set ablaze in broad daylight. Two other vehicles were broken into. A fifth vehicle was stolen.
We spoke with John Amos, a Tennessee deputy sheriff, whose truck was one of two that were burned. He and his fishing buddy launched their boat at Goodfield boat ramp in Meigs county, Tennessee on Monday morning. Just three hours after their fishing trip began, they could hear sirens and see smoke coming from the general vicinity of their boat ramp.
"We had been fishing a few hours and heard all kinds of commotion," Amos said. "I jokingly looked at my buddy and told him I hoped it wasn't my rig. But sure enough, it was."
The public's assistance is needed
Unfortunately, it was his and another angler's truck. Both were on fire and both had been broken into before they were burned. Amos only had liability insurance on his 2006 Dodge Ram 2500, so he's out of a truck. His fishing season is over.
"We don't have any leads right now," Amos said. "They found blood in one vehicle and swabbed it to send in for DNA. They could have just stolen my crap, busted my windshield and gone on. But now my fishing is over; I have no way to transport my boat and fishing is my stress relief. From a personal standpoint, my 6-year-old son was a $300,000 baby. He spent a month in NICU. My wife and I are finally climbing out of that financial hole and this happens on our 7-year anniversary. I work law enforcement and don't have a big budget."
Amos made sure to emphasize how thankful he is that no one was injured.
"There are a lot more things going on in the world than my truck burning," Amos said. "I learned my lesson about liability insurance. And I'll just fight through it and recover. These folks got away with a GoPro full of fishing footage, a small tool set, a motorcycle helmet and about $2.50 in change. They burned my truck to the ground just for that."
If you have any leads regarding suspicious activity between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. at or nearby the Goodfield boat ramp on Monday, April 27, please contact the Meigs County Sheriff Department immediately at (423) 334-5268.
If you would like to help Amos get a replacement truck, there is a GoFundMe setup now.