Around 6:03 p.m. Tuesday, December 5, 2017, Deputy Brandon Prewitt was notified of an assault at the I-75 welcome center approximately one mile North of the Kentucky-Tennessee state line.
The victim, a semi truck driver, drove to the Pilot Travel Center in Williamsburg, where he told Dep. Prewitt that while traveling northbound in TN, he was engaged by a hostile driver. The victim said that when we exited at the rest area, the hostile driver confronted and physically assaulted him. The victim said the assailant “pistol whipped” him with a revolver, and the firearm discharged one round during the altercation.
The victim was not struck by the bullet, but the bullet did pass through the truck’s cab.
The assailant fled the scene in what’s believed to be a maroon Ford Taurus. He is described as a black male of light build and approximately 5’8″ tall. He had dreadlocks and the letter “L” tattooed on his neck. The style of the neck tattoo was compared to the monogram associated with University of Louisville.
Law enforcement agencies were advised to be on the lookout, and the public is asked to help identify this person. Anybody who witnessed the altercation or recognizes a person with the unique tattoo who was driving through TN and Whitley Co. on that date is encouraged to contact Whitley Co. E911 at (606) 549-6017
*Holiday Travel Reminders*
The Holidays are a stressful time and involve a higher volume of traffic. Please consider the following:
-In Kentucky, the left lane is for overtaking (passing) slower moving traffic. Holding the left lane when you could safely return to the right lane can result in a ticket.
-Following too closely (tailgating) can result in a ticket.
-If you encounter a hostile driver, avoid eye contact and do not engage with them by returning obscene gestures. Unless they create a dangerous situation, simply ignore them; you’ll probably never see them again. If they do create a danger, call 911.
During the early morning hours of November 18, 2017, Deputy Brian Hensley responded to a residence off Hwy 92E where a domestic dispute reportedly turned physical.
Dep. Hensley made contact with 40-year-old Cecil King, who stated that an argument with his sister escalated and resulted in his finger being broken. The accused was not present, and Dep. Hensley remained in the area to locate her.
Dep. Hensley conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle leaving the area, finding Cecil King behind the wheel. Records indicated that Cecil King was driving on a DUI suspended license (second offense). Upon arrest, a pill was located in one of his pockets.
Cecil King was being arrested for second-offense driving on a DUI suspended license, third-degree possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance not in in the proper container.
During the arrest, the other person involved in the disturbance, 46-year-old Tina R. King, approached Dep. Hensley. She showed signs of intoxication, and Dep. Hensley was advised that there was an active warrant for her arrest. When attempting to place Tina King under arrest, she tried to flee and resisted arrest. She was served with the warrant and also arrested for public intoxication, fleeing or evading police (on foot) and resisting arrest.
Upon further investigation, Dep. Hensley observed physical injury to both persons. The male reported a broken finger, and the female reported being hit in the head with an ash tray. Both Cecil and Tina King are also charged with fourth-degree assault (domestic violence, minor injury). Both were lodged in the Whitley Co. Detention Center.
Around 3:15 a.m. November 19, 2017, Deputy Brian Hensley responded to multiple calls of a potential motorist in need of assistance. Around the one mile point on northbound I-75, Dep. Hensley located an SUV parked in the left lane without any lights on.
Dep. Hensley activated his blue lights, and the male driver reacted by putting his hands out of the window and shouting that he was complying. When Dep. Hensley approached the driver’s window, he noticed that Robert Cook, 28, of Knoxville, Tennessee, was chewing on a green, leafy substance believed to be marijuana.
The driver appeared to be under the influence and was detained. Dep. Hensley returned to the SUV, where a 4-year-old boy was seated in the rear passenger area. In the floorboard was a white crystal substance, which field tested positive as methamphetamine.
Before Dep. Hensley could move the vehicle from the roadway, he was nearly struck by passing vehicles.
Cook stated he had used marijuana and “dabbed.” He was arrested for first-degree possession of a controlled substance (meth), possession of marijuana, tampering with physical evidence and driving on a DUI suspended license. Cook was also charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, first-degree wanton endangerment and first-degree wanton endangerment of a peace officer.
Williamsburg Police Officer J. Fulton assisted by transporting Cook to the Whitley County Detention Center while Dep. Hensley remained with the four-year-old until social services arrived.
During the wait, Dep. Hensley experienced physical affects associated with exposure to the drug fentanyl, which is an increasingly dangerous occurrence among first responders. The four-year-old and Dep. Hensley were medically evaluated at Jellico Community Hospital.
“Thank the good Lord someone called this in and an Angel was there to protect this innocent child until Deputy Hensley could arrive. When you think about what could’ve happened…” -Sheriff Colan J. Harrell
Around 2:41 p.m. November 10, 2017, Deputy Brandon Prewitt responded to a suspicious person complaint in the Goldbug community. According to the caller, a woman had been sitting outside the Dollar General store in a newer model Ford Explorer. The caller expressed concern that the driver may have been intoxicated.
When Dep. Prewitt arrived, the woman was in the store. Dep. Prewitt asked Whitley County E911 to perform a search on the vehicle’s license plate. Dispatch reported that the vehicle was identified as stolen from Madison County.
Dep. Prewitt watched the woman exit the store and return to the vehicle. When he approached her, she tried to flee. The woman was uncooperative and refused to identify herself. Dep. Prewitt was unable to locate any items that would identify the woman. She was initially lodged in the Whitley Co. Detention Center as “Jane Doe” and was charged with resisting arrest and receiving stolen property valued over $10,000.
Through cooperation with another law enforcement agency, it is believed that Jane Doe is Carrie B. Durham, 29, of Richmond. Durham is wanted for arrest related to Madison Co. charges. Approximately an hour and a half passed between the time the vehicle was reported stolen and when Dep. Prewitt recovered it.
Dep. Joe Prewitt and Williamsburg police officer Elijah Hunter assisted in the investigation.
Around 7 p.m. October 7, 2017, Deputy Jonas Saunders responded to a possible wreck along I-75. Dep. Saunders located a Chevy Cobalt alongside the interstate near the northbound 8 mile point. The passenger side was damaged and the front right wheel rim was in contact with the pavement.
The driver, Crystal Miller, 38, of Cumberland, Kentucky, told Dep. Saunders that the car had overheated. Dep. Saunders sensed the strong odor of alcoholic beverages about the vehicle. In plain view was a bottle of vodka.
Although she was on the shoulder of the northbound lane, Miller told Dep. Saunders that she was returning from Indiana. In the front passenger seat was an eight-year-old, and in the rear passenger area was an adult male, Terry Sibrava, 44, of Cumberland, Kentucky.
Miller was unable to complete field sobriety tests and refused a portable breathalyzer test.
During the investigation, Dep. Saunders located a mixed drink in a cup and three bottles of liquor. Miller eventually admitted to colliding with the rear of a tractor trailer. Dep Saunders also located what’s believed to be marijuana in door compartment where Sibrava was seated.
Miller was arrested for the felony offense of first-degree wanton endangerment and endangering the welfare of a minor. She was also charged with DUI and possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle. Miller’s DUI charge includes an aggravating factor, which was having a child under 12-years-old in the vehicle. Sibrava was arrested for endangering the welfare of a minor, possession of marijuana, possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle and alcohol intoxication in a public place.
Both were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center. Social Services responded, and the child was released to the care of a family member. Fortunately, the child did not sustain physical injuries during the collision. Dep. Brian Hensley assisted at the scene.