KPD e-News Release: Suspect Indicted and Arrested in 2016 Orebank Road Crash that Seriously Injured Pedestrian

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

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

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Suspect Indicted and Arrested in 2016 Orebank Road Crash that Seriously Injured Pedestrian
DATE: June 22, 2017
CASE #: 16-018910 (Crash)

17-014994 (Arrest)

GENERAL NARRATIVE
A suspect has recently been indicted and arrested in a 2016 Orebank Road crash that seriously injured a pedestrian. The details of the investigation are as follows:

On September 2, 2016 at approximately 7:00 PM, Kingsport Central Dispatch was notified of a crash involving a pedestrian in the 5000 block of Orebank Road in Kingsport. Officers of the Kingsport Police Department Patrol Division responded. Due to the serious nature of the injuries to those involved, Crash Reconstructionists from the K.P.D. Traffic Unit were called to the scene, with their resultant investigation rendering the following:

Shari K. Rajoo was walking along a sidewalk that runs parallel to the roadway in the 5000 block of Orebank Road. She was accompanied by several family members; however, she was walking slightly behind the rest of the group.

Meanwhile, a 1995 Ford Ranger pickup, driven by James Richard Smith, was westbound in the same block of Orebank Road, negotiating a curve to the right. Mr. Smith failed to keep the truck in the proper lane, allowing it to cross the center line and the oncoming lane, and run off the left side of the roadway. He swerved back onto the road surface, but in doing so overcorrected, putting the truck into an unrecoverable spin.

Now completely out of control, the truck ran off the left side of the road a second time and crossed the sidewalk, striking Ms. Rajoo. The pickup then crashed through a wooden fence and finally came to a rest in an adjacent grassy field.

Both Ms. Rajoo and Mr. Smith sustained serious incapacitating injuries in the crash and were rushed to Holston Valley Medical Center by Sullivan County E.M.S. for emergency treatment.

A blood sample was taken from Mr. Smith at the time of the crash and was sent to the T.B.I. Crime Lab for analysis. This crash has remained under active investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit since that time with charges pending.

The results of the aforementioned blood test were received on December 5, 2016, and indicated that at the time of the crash, Mr. Smith had a significant level of Diazepam (Valium) in his system. He did not have a prescription for Valium and indicated that he had unlawfully purchased the drug from a friend, because he had run out of his other regularly prescribed medications.

On June 13, 2017 the facts of the case were presented to a Sullivan County Grand Jury. On June 19, 2017 a sealed indictment was returned, charging Mr. Smith with 1) Felony Reckless Aggravated Assault, 2) Felony Vehicular Assault, 3) Felony Reckless Endangerment, and 4) Driving Under the Influence.

On June 22, 2017 at 9:30 AM, Mr. Smith was arrested without incident at his place of employment on Bloomingdale Road. He was transported to the Kingsport City Jail where he remains confined, pending arraignment, in lieu of a $10,000 bond as specified by the presiding judge.

SUSPECT INFORMATION
Name James Richard Smith
Age Date of Birth 11/13/1984

32 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 2145 Happy Hill Road, Lot #9

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) 1) Felony Reckless Aggravated Assault

2) Felony Vehicular Assault

3) Felony Reckless Endangerment

4) Driving Under the Influence

COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION
Make Ford
Model Ranger
Year 1995
Type Compact Pickup
Color Red
Damage Disabling Damage
Driver Name James Richard Smith
Age 32 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries Serious Incapacitating Injuries
PEDESTRIAN/VICTIM INFORMATION
Name Shari K. Rajoo
Age 45 Years of Age
Gender/Race Female/Indian
Residency Kingsport, TN
Injuries Serious Incapacitating Injuries
RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Detectives Attempting to Identify Felony Shoplifters

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

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

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Kingsport Detectives Attempting to Identify Felony Shoplifters
DATE: June 12, 2017
CASE #: 17-010260
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On May 3, 2017 at approximately 3:15 AM, two unidentified white male suspects shoplifted in excess of $1,000 in merchandise from Wal-Mart, located at 2500 West Stone Drive in Kingsport. The culprits loaded nine (9) DVD players and miscellaneous grocery items into a shopping cart and wheeled the cart out of the store without paying for any of the items.

The incident was captured by store surveillance cameras. Photos of the suspects taken from that video footage have been included in this release. A clip of the actual video has also been made available for viewing on the K.P.D. YouTube channel via the link below:

https://youtu.be/DbyH_OcZQn4

Anyone who can assist with the identification of either of these suspects 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

KPD e-News Release: Man Indicted and Arrested After Disrupting Crash Investigation and Filing Fabricated Complaint on Officer

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

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

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Man Indicted and Arrested After Disrupting Crash Investigation and Filing Fabricated Complaint on Officer
DATE: June 8, 2017
CASE #: 17-002930
GENERAL NARRATIVE
A man has recently been indicted and arrested after disrupting a January crash investigation on Fort Henry Drive and then filing a fabricated complaint against a Kingsport Police Officer. The facts of the incident are as follows:

On January 22, 2017 at approximately 7:45 PM, a 25 year veteran Kingsport Police Department Patrol Officer was directing traffic and gathering information while investigating a motor vehicle collision on Fort Henry Drive at the Interstate 81 interchange in the Colonial Heights area of Kingsport. At one point, the officer had to block a traffic lane with his cruiser in order to safely divert traffic away from the crash.

Amidst all of this, the officer heard a man, later identified as Michael Jason Comer, screaming at him from an uninvolved vehicle. Mr. Comer eventually drove past the crash, pulled over to the roadside, and approached the officer on foot. Mr. Comer pitched a temper tantrum so extreme that two teenage girls who were involved in the crash became upset by his behavior and started crying.

A woman who had also been involved in the crash was so taken aback by his verbal tirade toward the officer that she began to record his behavior with her cell phone video camera. It was quite clear to the officer that Mr. Comer was attempting to provoke a confrontation.

The officer noted that Mr. Comer’s actions clearly met the threshold of disorderly conduct; however, due to the priority of managing the collision scene, he elected not to arrest him on the spot. Instead, the officer ordered Mr. Comer to return to his vehicle and summoned his supervisor.

Upon arrival, a K.P.D. Patrol Sergeant spoke with Mr. Comer who stated that the officer had “nearly” caused a collision when he pulled his cruiser across the traffic lane. He stated that when he confronted the officer about it, the officer cursed him with profanity. The Sergeant documented Mr. Comer’s complaint for further investigation and sent him on his way.

The following day, Mr. Comer came to the Kingsport Justice Center and spoke with the on-duty Patrol Watch Commander. He filed a second complaint on the same officer; however, he further enhanced his story to accuse the officer of also poking him in the chest with his finger. This detail was mysteriously not mentioned in the first complaint.

Per department protocol, all of this information was relayed to the K.P.D. Professional Standards Unit for an official Internal Affairs investigation. Over the next 10 days, a K.P.D. Internal Affairs Investigator made numerous attempts to schedule an interview with Mr. Comer. Each attempt was met with either an excuse or delay tactic by Mr. Comer or an unanswered and unreturned call.

Finally, on February 2, 2017 the Internal Affairs Investigator drove to Mr. Comer’s residence and was able to speak with him in person. At this point Mr. Comer once again further embellished his story by adding that a brush guard on his vehicle actually collided with the side of the officer’s cruiser. He also accused the officer of “chest-bumping” him. None of these details were even hinted at in his earlier complaints.

As part of the Internal Affairs investigation, several witnesses were interviewed. All of them stated that the officer’s behavior was extremely professional, and the officer did absolutely nothing to provoke Mr. Comer’s outlandish behavior. Furthermore, there was no damage whatsoever to the officer’s cruiser. A review of the cell phone video provided by the witness also completely refuted Mr. Comer’s accusations toward the officer. In short, this complaint was completely without foundation and easily disproven.

The results of this investigation were reviewed with the Office of the Sullivan County District Attorney General who in turn presented the facts to a Grand Jury. On May 23, 2017 the Grand Jury indicted Mr. Comer for the criminal offenses of 1) Felony False Reporting and 2) Disorderly Conduct. A Criminal Court Capias was subsequently issued for his arrest.

On June 7, 2017 Mr. Comer was arrest by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office on the outstanding warrant and confined in the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville. He was released the following day after posting a $10,000 bond as specified by the presiding judge. His next court appearance is scheduled for August 11, 2017 at 9:00 AM.

Following is a statement released by the K.P.D. Professional Standards Unit: “The Kingsport Police Department selects, trains, and holds our officers to the highest possible standards of law enforcement professionalism, and all legitimate complaints on officers are thoroughly investigated. At the same time, we will absolutely not condone the maliciously motivated slandering of our officers with dishonestly concocted complaints. Those who choose to engage in this type of deceitfully spiteful behavior will be prosecuted to the utmost extent of the law.”

SUSPECT INFORMATION
Name Michael Jason Comer
Age Date of Birth 1/13/1981

36 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 323 Proffitt Lane

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) 1) Felony False Reporting

2) Disorderly Conduct

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Police Request Public Input in Identifying Smart Cuts Burglars

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

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

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Police Request Public Input in Identifying Smart Cuts Burglars
DATE: June 1, 2017
CASE #: 17-012659
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On Sunday, May 28, 2017 Kingsport Police Patrol Officers were summoned to Smart Cuts, located at 2400 West Stone Drive in Kingsport, in reference to an overnight burglary to the business that had just been discovered. Employees arrived to find the rear door of the business standing ajar and damage to the knob. A desk inside the business was found to be ransacked, and nearly $1,000 in cash prepared for deposit was reportedly stolen.

A review of surveillance video footage netted documentary evidence of two suspects in the act of committing the burglary at roughly 4:30 AM that same morning. They both appear to be young white male adults. Photos taken from that footage have been included in this release. Two clips of the actual video have been made available for viewing on the K.P.D. YouTube channel via the links below:

https://youtu.be/EKeELLbLkbw

https://youtu.be/ZXy3d9ZIMqo

Anyone who recognizes either or both suspects, 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

KPD e-News Release: Elderly Woman Killed in Single Vehicle Memorial Day Crash on West Stone Drive

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

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

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Elderly Woman Killed in Single Vehicle Memorial Day Crash on West Stone Drive
DATE: May 29, 2017
CASE #: 17-012708
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017 at approximately 8:45 AM, Kingsport Central Dispatch was notified of a motor vehicle collision with injuries in the 600 block of West Stone Drive in the tree line adjacent to the Andrew Jackson Elementary School property. Kingsport Police Patrol Officers and Crash Reconstructionists responded to the scene. The ensuing investigation revealed the following:

A 2001 Ford Taurus sedan made a left turn from northbound Clinchfield Street and began traveling west along West Stone Drive. In the 600 block of West Stone Drive, for unknown reasons, the vehicle suddenly veered to the left, crossed the center turn lane and all three oncoming eastbound lanes of West Stone Drive, and exited the opposite side of the road. The vehicle came to a sudden stop after striking a tree head-on.

The driver, Jason Hugh Vicars (39 years of age of Nickelsville, VA) was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center by Sullivan County E.M.S. for a precautionary evaluation of possible injuries. He had no recollection of anything after he entered Stone Drive and could provide no insight into what caused him to crash.

Mr. Vicars grandmother and front seat passenger, Lois Faye Rose (80 years of age of Nickelsville, VA) was also transported to Holston Valley Medical Center by Sullivan County E.M.S. but with much more serious injuries. At approximately 11:30 AM, she succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash and died.

This crash remains under investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit.

COLLISION VEHICLE INFORMATION
Make Ford
Model Taurus
Year 2001
Type 4-Door Sedan
Color Maroon
Damage Disabling Damage
Driver Name Jason Hugh Vicars
Age 39 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Nickelsville, Virginia
Injuries Possible Injuries
Passenger Name Lois Faye Rose
Age 80 Years of Age
Gender/Race Female/White
Residency Nickelsville, Virginia
Injuries Fatal

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Investigating Bomb Threat to MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort and Convention Center

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

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

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Kingsport Police Investigating Bomb Threat to MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort and Convention Center
DATE: May 27, 2017
CASE #: 17-012577
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On May 27, 2017 at approximately 6:00 AM, the Kingsport Police Department was called to the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort and Convention Center, located at 1901 Meadowview Parkway in Kingsport, in reference to a bomb threat. The bomb threat was received via a fax machine at the resort.

The fax transmission included a narrative claiming that explosives had been installed in the building. The threat evolved into an attempted extortion, with the suspect demanding several thousand dollars in exchange for not detonating the explosives. The threatening fax originated from outside of the United States and demanded that the ransom money be delivered via an electronic funds transfer.

Based upon the ensuing investigation, there was absolutely no evidence uncovered to give this threat any credibility whatsoever. However, all threats must be taken seriously, so out of an abundance of caution, several area law enforcement explosives detection K-9 teams were called to the scene to thoroughly check the MeadowView properties.

Ultimately no explosives were detected. The Kingsport Police Department would like to thank the generosity of our neighboring law enforcement agencies, specifically the Johnson City Police Department, the Bristol TN Police Department, and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, who responded K-9 teams to assist under preexisting mutual aid agreements.

Marriott released the following statement: “Earlier today we received a bomb threat via fax. We immediately contacted the authorities. The police are managing the situation, and we are following their guidance. The safety and security of our guests and associates remains one of our highest priorities.”

As this remains an open and active criminal investigation by the Kingsport Police Department, no additional details will be released at this time.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Two Juveniles Charged in Supermarket Row Fire

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

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

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

NEWS RELEASE
SUBJECT: Two Juveniles Charged in Supermarket Row Fire
DATE: May 26, 2017
CASE #: 17-011750
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On May 18, 2017 at approximately 3:15 PM Kingsport Central Dispatch was notified of a commercial structure fire in the 400 block of West Sullivan Street, traditionally known as “Supermarket Row.” Upon arrival, responding Firefighters from the Kingsport Fire Department found a building, located at 443 West Sullivan Street, fully involved, making a safe interior attack virtually impossible. This was a vacant building that most recently housed a Hometown IGA grocery store and was previously home to an Oakwood grocery store.

Kingsport Police Department Patrol Officers established a perimeter to safely reroute pedestrian and vehicular traffic away from the scene. Firefighters quickly set up a defensive position and were able to successfully keep the fire contained to the single structure and prevent it from spreading to other nearby buildings. Firefighters continued to battle the fire, which persistently burned and smoldered well into the night. It was eventually completely extinguished during the early morning hours of the following day. The building is being considered a total loss; however, fortunately no injuries were reported.

Long before the fire was doused, an investigation began into what, and in this case who, caused it. This was a joint investigation, conducted cooperatively between the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division and the K.F.D. Fire Marshal’s Office. While interviewing bystanders and potential witnesses, two male juveniles (ages 11 and 12) were quickly identified as possible persons of interest.

Through further inquiry and analysis, to include subsequent interviews with the juveniles in question, investigators were able to positively establish that these two individuals did in fact start the fire. On May 25, 2017, after consulting with the Office of the Sullivan County District Attorney General regarding the facts of the case and appropriate charges, Juvenile Petitions were obtained, charging these two culprits with the criminal offenses of 1) Aggravated Criminal Trespassing and 2) Reckless Burning.

The juveniles, to be accompanied by their parents and/or guardians, are scheduled for arraignment in Sullivan County Juvenile Court on June 2, 2017. As this is an active and ongoing investigation involving minors, with court proceedings pending, absolutely no additional details or information can or will be released at this time.

SUSPECT #1 INFORMATION
Name Not Released Due to Minor Age
Age 11 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Kingsport, TN
Charge(s) 1) Aggravated Criminal Trespassing

2) Reckless Burning

SUSPECT #2 INFORMATION
Name Not Released Due to Minor Age
Age 12 Years of Age
Gender/Race Male/White
Residency Kingsport, TN
Charge(s) 1) Aggravated Criminal Trespassing

2) Reckless Burning

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit