KPD e-News Release: K.P.D. to Partner with THSO and NHTSA to Discourage Impaired Driving and Step Up Enforcement Labor Day Weekend

Kingsport Police Department

David Quillin, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: K.P.D. to Partner with THSO and NHTSA to Discourage Impaired Driving and Step Up Enforcement Labor Day Weekend
DATE: August 18, 2017
GENERAL NARRATIVE
The end of summer is traditionally marked by the Labor Day holiday, a time for our country to reflect on the hard work of our fellow Americans. The long weekend is typically celebrated through picnics, pool parties, and barbecues, as families and friends enjoy the last few days of summer before fall and winter approach. Sadly, the Labor Day holiday is also one of the deadliest, with drunk drivers endangering themselves and others on America’s roadways.

The Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) is Tennessee’s advocate for traffic safety. The THSO partners with community advocates and law enforcement agencies across the state to reduce impaired-driving crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Booze It & Lose It is Tennessee’s statewide campaign that runs from August 18, 2017 through September 4, 2017, coinciding with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Driving under the influence (DUI), also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI), drunk driving, or impaired driving, is the crime of driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, including those prescribed by physicians. In Tennessee, a drunk driver’s level of intoxication is typically determined by the measurement of blood alcohol content (BAC). A BAC measurement of 0.08% defines the criminal offense.

Being convicted of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol can impact your life in many ways, including loss of employment, prevention of employment in certain jobs, higher insurance rates, serious financial setbacks, personal and family embarrassment, and incarceration.

This year, the Kingsport Police Department is partnering with both the THSO and NHTSA to stop drunk drivers and help save lives. During the high-visibility state and national enforcement campaigns, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.

Statistics show a frightening trend in drunk driving. According to NHTSA, 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2015, an increase from the 9,967 people killed in 2014. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2011 to 2015—one person killed every 51 minutes in 2015. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. This is why the Kingsport Police Department is working with THSO and NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to Labor Day festivities, remember: Booze It & Lose It, so either Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Over the Labor Day holiday period in 2015, there were 460 crash fatalities nationwide. Forty percent of those fatal crashes involved drivers who had been drinking (.01+ BAC). Of those alcohol-related fatal crashes, one third (33%) involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC), and nearly one-fourth (23%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the illegal limit (.15+ BAC). Nighttime is the most dangerous time to be out on the roads: During the 2015 Labor Day holiday period, 78 percent of drunk-driving crash fatalities occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. – as compared to half of all drunk-driving crash fatalities throughout the rest of the year.

The Kingsport Police Department is stressing the dangers of driving impaired to our community. Drunk driving is a massive problem in the United States, with more than 10,000 people dying annually. If you’re out on the roads and you see someone driving drunk, please report it. You could help save a life.

The Kingsport Police Department, THSO, and NHTSA are reminding citizens of the many resources available to get them home safely. Drunk driving is not acceptable behavior. It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. That’s why, throughout the year, but especially during this Labor Day holiday, there will be zero tolerance for drunk driving. There are just no excuses.

The Kingsport Police Department recommends safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve only had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely.
  • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
  • Call a cab or a friend. Use community sober ride programs if available.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the Kingsport Police Department.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

The Kingsport Police Department continues to stress that Tennessee D.U.I. laws apply not just to alcohol, but to any substance that impairs the ability to drive, including illegal drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, as well as prescription drugs, even if they are prescribed by a physician.

For more information about the THSO, visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.

For more information about NHTSA’s impaired driving prevention programs, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Detectives Request Assistance in Identifying Suspect in Felony Vandalism and Attempted Theft at Car Wash

Kingsport Police Department

David Quillin, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Detectives Request Assistance in Identifying Suspect in Felony Vandalism and Attempted Theft at Car Wash
DATE: August 17, 2017
CASE #: 17-012996
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On May 31, 2017 at approximately 4:30 AM, a lone suspect used a small pry bar in an attempt to break into, in order to steal money out of, a coin operated industrial vacuum cleaner at Clean Stop Car Wash, located at 1113 East Sevier Avenue in Kingsport.

While his efforts ultimately proved unsuccessful, during what would have been a misdemeanor theft, he committed the more serious crime of felony vandalism by inflicting $1,500 in damages upon the machine. He eventually left the scene empty-handed on foot.

The crime was recorded by surveillance cameras, and a photograph of the suspect, taken from that footage, has been included with this release. A short clip of the actual video has been made available for viewing on the K.P.D. YouTube Channel via the link below:

https://youtu.be/S5b5GlA-7Hs

The suspect appears to be a slim white male wearing glasses. Anyone who recognizes him is asked to contact Detectives in the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division at 423-229-9429 or call Kingsport Central Dispatch at 423-246-9111.

Alternatively, if an individual who is able to supply information related to this or any other case wishes not to be identified, tips can be submitted anonymously via online “Citizen Feedback” forms available at the following link:

https://www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/police-department/contact-us

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Investigating T-Mobile Burglary

Kingsport Police Department

David Quillin, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Investigating T-Mobile Burglary
DATE: August 16, 2017
CASE #: 17-020465
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On August 7, 2017 at approximately 3:00 AM, Kingsport Central Dispatch was notified of a burglar alarm activation at T-Mobile, located at 1785 North Eastman Road in Kingsport. Kingsport Police Patrol Officers were promptly dispatched to the scene.

While the officers were still en route, the alarm company updated dispatchers that they were monitoring the store’s surveillance cameras and could see three suspects inside the store, who then fled on foot just prior to the officers’ arrival.

A thorough search of the surrounding area was conducted, to include the use of a Police K-9 for tracking, but it ultimately proved unsuccessful. Detectives from the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division responded with their subsequent investigation revealing the following:

Three unidentified suspects, clad in dark clothing from head to toe to include masks and gloves to conceal their identities, entered the store by shattering an exterior window with a large rock. Once inside, part of the store was ransacked; however, they appeared to have focused their attention on a secure storage room.

The suspects spent one solid minute prying on and kicking at the storage room door. Their attempts at breaching the door were unsuccessful, so they fled the store empty-handed.

As previously mentioned, the entire incident was captured on store surveillance video, and a photo of the burglars inside the business has been included in this release. A clip of the actual video has been made available for viewing on the K.P.D. YouTube Channel via the link below:

https://youtu.be/pE8s-4ljmTY

Anyone who can help identify these suspects or provide any additional information which may assist with this investigation is asked to contact Detectives at 423-229-9429 or call Kingsport Central Dispatch at 423-246-9111.

Alternatively, if an individual who is able to supply information related to this or any other case wishes not to be identified, tips can be submitted anonymously via online “Citizen Feedback” forms available at the following link:

https://www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/police-department/contact-us

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Instantaneous Police Response Aided by Good Samaritan Intervention Results in Prompt Apprehension of Robber

Kingsport Police Department

David Quillin, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Instantaneous Police Response Aided by Good Samaritan Intervention Results in Prompt Apprehension of Robber
DATE: August 8, 2017
CASE #: 17-020591 (Robbery)

17-020592 (Hit and Run)

GENERAL NARRATIVE
A suspect was in custody on multiple felony charges within just a few minutes following an early Tuesday morning robbery, as a direct result of a timely response by the Kingsport Police Department coupled with the selfless actions of a Good Samaritan. The facts of the case are as follows:

On August 8, 2017 at approximately 6:45 AM, a 66 year old woman was in the parking lot of the Zoomerz gas station and convenience store, located at 1673 Fort Henry Drive in Kingsport. She was counting a significant sum of cash in plain sight. A white male suspect, later identified as John T. Ashworth, spotted her and decided that he was going to rob her.

The woman rode her bicycle across the street to Crown Point Shopping Center, located at 1205 North Eastman Road, where she stopped to rest. Mr. Ashworth followed her in a pickup truck. After circling her in the truck a couple of times, he parked nearby and approached her on foot. He had his face covered with an article of clothing to conceal his identity.

The victim saw him approach, sensed what was about to happen, and attempted to leave. Mr. Ashworth blocked her egress and snatched her purse, shoving her and her bicycle to the ground in the process. The victim sustained some minor abrasions during the attack; however, she was fortunately able to avoid serious injury.

A Good Samaritan was conducting unrelated business in the shopping center and witnessed the entire incident. Without hesitation, he selflessly drove his vehicle across the parking lot and strategically parked it in front of Mr. Ashworth’s pickup in an gallant effort to prevent his escape.

Mr. Ashworth immediately accelerated and rammed the Good Samaritan’s vehicle, pushing it to the side, and sped out of the parking lot. The Good Samaritan then chose to go even a step further and follow the suspect in an attempt to keep him in sight.

Meanwhile, a Kingsport Police Department School Resource Officer had stopped at the shopping center on his way to work and was fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time. The Officer saw the aftermath of the incident, to include the victim on the ground and the vehicles speeding away. He immediately checked on the victim, gathered the basic facts, and pursued the two vehicles.

Suspecting that a description of his vehicle was already being circulated, Mr. Ashworth soon abandoned his pickup nearby in a random driveway in the 1500 block of Pineola Avenue and began nonchalantly walking away. Multiple Kingsport Police Officers converged on the area, quickly spotted Mr. Ashworth, and captured him without further incident. He was still in possession of the victim’s money.

He was transported to, and incarcerated within, the Kingsport City Jail where he currently remains confined, pending arraignment, on the charges of 1) Robbery, 2) Aggravated Assault, 3) Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Collision, and 4) Failure to Comply with Financial Responsibility (No Insurance).

It is extremely important to note that this was, without a doubt, a crime of opportunity, and the victim in this incident was targeted for a very specific reason. Mr. Ashworth openly admitted to Officers that he saw her counting the money, could tell that she was not really paying attention to her surroundings, and would therefore be an easy target.

The Kingsport Police Department strongly discourages the public displaying of cash or other valuables that would attract the attention of a morally compromised individual, and strongly encourages the practice of good situational awareness. Following these and other basic personal safety tips can more often than not help prevent a person from being targeted by a would-be criminal.

The Kingsport Police Department would also like to take this opportunity to commend the Good Samaritan whose courageous actions helped bring a societal predator to justice. In a day and age where most people find it easier to simply look the other way, he clearly went above and beyond.

SUSPECT INFORMATION
Name John T. Ashworth
Age Date of Birth 2/14/1991

26 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 428 Arrow Circle

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) 1) Robbery

2) Aggravated Assault

3) Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Collision

4) Failure to Comply with Financial Responsibility (No Insurance)

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Highlight Traffic Safety as New School Year Begins

Kingsport Police Department

David Quillin, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Highlight Traffic Safety as New School Year Begins
DATE: August 7, 2017
GENERAL NARRATIVE
Effective Monday morning, August 7, 2017, Kingsport City Schools are back in session. The Kingsport Police Department will be patrolling Kingsport’s various school zones and actively enforcing traffic violations. Motorists are urged to slow down and drive with an increased level of situational awareness, especially around school zones. Following, are some Back to School Safe Driving Tips from the National Safety Council:

Slow Down: Back to School Means Sharing the Road

Things get a little crazy on the roads during the school year. Buses are everywhere, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, and anxious parents are trying to drop their kids off before work. It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially before and after school.

If You’re Dropping Off

Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. According to the National Safe Routes to School program, more children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location. The following apply to all school zones:

· Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles.

· Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school.

· Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:

· Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic.

· In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.

· Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign.

· Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas.

· Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way.

· Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians.

· Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way.

Sharing the Road with School Buses

If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

· Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children.

· If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop.

· The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus.

· Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks.

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

· When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist.

· When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass.

· If you’re turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals.

· Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this.

· Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods.

· Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars.

· Check side mirrors before opening your door.

Seatbelts and Child Passenger Safety

Finally, all motorists are strongly encouraged to make sure they, and everyone in their vehicle, are properly restrained. Being properly restrained by a seatbelt or an appropriate child passenger safety seat can easily make the difference in a motorist being seriously injured or killed in a crash versus literally walking away from the crash with minor injuries or completely unscathed.

The Kingsport Police Department encourages ALL occupants of ALL motor vehicles to wear their seatbelt ALL of the time. It is the law, but more importantly, it might just save a life. For a comprehensive guide to child passenger safety, please visit the following link: https://tntrafficsafety.org/cps

By exercising a little extra care and caution, motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and school buses can co-exist safely in school zones and throughout the City of Kingsport.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: Suspect In Custody Following Series of Robberies, Carjacking, and Kidnapping

Kingsport Police Department

David Quillin, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Suspect In Custody Following Series of Robberies, Carjacking, and Kidnapping
DATE: August 2, 2017
CASE #: 17-019775 (Hampton Inn)

17-019776 (Hardee’s)

GENERAL NARRATIVE
On August 2, 2017 at approximately 10:45 AM, Kingsport Police Department personnel responded to the area of John B. Dennis Highway at Enterprise Place in reference to a series of robberies involving threats of a firearm, that had escalated into a carjacking and resultant kidnapping. K.P.D. Patrol Officers apprehended the lone suspect shortly thereafter near the John B. Dennis at Fort Henry Drive interchange after he fled from the stolen vehicle on foot. The facts of the ensuing investigation are as follows:

A black male adult suspect, later identified as Landon K. Ferguson, had been staying at the Comfort Suites, located at 3005 Bays Meadow Place in Kingsport. He walked from there to the nearby Hampton Inn, located at 2000 Enterprise Place, entered the lobby, and approached the counter. He ordered the clerk to give him all of the money and her car keys. The clerk complied, and the suspect fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash.

After fleeing Hampton Inn, Mr. Ferguson walked to the nearby Hardee’s, located at 1401 South John B. Dennis Highway. He encountered two women sitting in their vehicle in the parking lot. He asked them for a ride and immediately placed some personal items in their back seat without receiving consent. He then told them that he was going inside to get a drink.

Mr. Ferguson went inside Hardee’s and approached an employee at the counter. He placed his hand in his pocket feigning having a concealed firearm, and demanded the contents of the cash register. The clerk complied, and Mr. Ferguson exited the restaurant with an undisclosed sum of money.

Mr. Ferguson then got into the car with the women, who were completely oblivious to the two robberies that had just occurred, and instructed them to drive off. The women reluctantly agreed. As they traveled northbound on John B. Dennis Highway, they observed several police cruisers, with blue lights and sirens activated, traveling in the opposite direction toward the scene of the crime. Mr. Ferguson began acting strange, ordered the driver to drive faster, and told them that he had a weapon.

Sensing something was amiss, and in fear for her safety and the safety of her friend, the driver pulled over to the roadside near the John B. Dennis Highway at Fort Henry Drive interchange. Mr. Ferguson exited the vehicle, with the women immediately calling the Kingsport Police Department to reporting what had just transpired.

Multiple Officers converged on the scene and soon spotted Mr. Ferguson walking in the area. He was ordered to stop and was quickly apprehended without further incident. He has been charged with 1) Robbery, 2) Aggravated Robbery, 3) Two Counts of Aggravated Kidnapping, and 4) Carjacking. He presently remains confined in the Kingsport City Jail in lieu of a $215,000 bond as specified by the presiding judge.

SUSPECT INFORMATION
Name Landon K. Ferguson
Age Date of Birth 2/5/1989

28 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/Black
Residency 334 Wheatley Street, Apartment 106

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) 1) Robbery

2) Aggravated Robbery

3) Aggravated Kidnapping (2 Counts)

4) Carjacking

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton

KPD e-News Release: K.P.D. Requests Public Assistance in Identifying Dollhouse Burglar

Kingsport Police Department

David Quillin, Chief of Police

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

http://Police.KingsportTN.govwww.KingsportPDBlog.com

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: K.P.D. Requests Public Assistance in Identifying Dollhouse Burglar
DATE: August 1, 2017
CASE #: 17-015456
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On June 27, 2017 at approximatley11:00 AM, a white female adult suspect unlawfully entered an unlocked storage warehouse owned by Action Rental, located at 1824 Ryder Drive in Kingsport. Once inside, the woman picked up a large dollhouse and carried it out of the warehouse.

She then tried to steal the dollhouse by attempting to place it in the trunk of her vehicle. When it would not fit in the trunk, she attempted to put it in the back seat area. When it would not fit there either, she ultimately abandoned her loot and drove away. The dollhouse had a value of approximately $1,000.

She was driving what appears to be a black Oldsmobile Alero or similarly styled 4-door mid-sized sedan. The entire incident was captured on surveillance video. Photos of her and her vehicle taken from that footage have been included in this release. A clip from the actual video has been made available for viewing on the K.P.D. YouTube Channel via the link below:

https://youtu.be/MbuvNvAYRH4

Anyone who recognizes her or her vehicle and can assist with identification, or who may have any additional information which may help solve this case, is asked to contact Detectives in the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division at 423-229-9429 or call Kingsport Central Dispatch at 423-246-9111.

Alternatively, if an individual who is able to supply information related to this or any other case wishes not to be identified, tips can be submitted anonymously via online “Citizen Feedback” forms available at the following link:

https://www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/police-department/contact-us

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

ThomasMPatton