Maryville man, 41, dies following altercation

A 41-year-old Maryville man is dead after officials said he died from accidental or natural causes due to bleeding on the brain.

Johnny Ray Ridge, Reagan Mill Road, Maryville, was taken by Rural/Metro Ambulance Service to Blount Memorial Hospital where he was transported by LifeStar to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he was pronounced dead on Sunday, Dec. 27.

Initially authorities said witnesses reported there was a fight involving Ridge and four individuals who were taken into custody for questioning. After further investigation, the four individuals were released, Sheriff James Berrong said.

According to a report, at around 4:15 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27, Blount County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence on Reagan Mill Road to the call of a disturbance. When deputies and emergency services personnel with Rural/Metro Ambulance Service arrived, they found Ridge lying near the end of his driveway on Reagan Mill Road. Witnesses said that Ridge and four individuals had gotten into a fight.

The four other individuals - two men and two women -- left the scene of the incident prior to the arrival of law enforcement. One man was located at a residence on Strawberry Plains Pike in Jefferson County and brought back to Blount County. The other three were found at a home on U.S. Highway 411 South in Maryville. All four were held for questioning at the Blount County Detention Facility and then released.

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