|On January 7, 2016 at approximately 6:00 PM, a Kingsport Police Department Traffic Enforcement Officer was patrolling in the 1500 block of Rock Springs Road in Kingsport. He observed a red Kia Soul traveling eastbound at an estimated 15 miles per hour over the 35 mile per hour posted speed limit. The actual speed of the Kia was quickly confirmed by radar to be 49 mph.
The officer initiated a traffic stop, resulting in the driver, Derrick B. Sells, initially complying and pulling over. Through further investigation, the officer soon learned that Mr. Sells’ driver license was suspended for failure to pay child support and that he was currently wanted on an outstanding Sullivan County warrant for Violation of Community Corrections.
The officer asked Mr. Sells to exit the vehicle, but he immediately started the engine. The officer reached into the vehicle in an attempt to turn off the vehicle and take custody of Mr. Sells, but he began to drive off, effectively dragging the officer alongside. The officer was eventually able to free his arm from the vehicle and avoid serious injury.
Mr. Sells drove a short distance to the Rock Springs Mart, rapidly turned around in the parking lot full of customers, and drove back westbound at a high rate of speed with no headlights on. Due to the volume of traffic on a curvy two lane road and Mr. Sells’ reckless actions, the officer wisely chose not to pursue in the interest of public safety. A warrant was obtained charging Mr. Sells with:
1) Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer
2) Felony Evading Arrest
3) Felony Reckless Endangerment
4) Driving on a Suspended License
6) Failure to Yield Right-of-Way
7) Violation of Light Law
At approximately 10:30 PM, Officers of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office responded to the residence of Mr. Sells grandmother, located at 2800 Rock Springs Road in an attempt to locate him. His grandmother was removed from the residence for her safety, and she confirmed that he was hiding inside the residence.
When commands to Mr. Sells to make his presence known and exit the residence were ignored, S.C.S.O. K-9 Diablo was deployed to search the residence for him. He was soon located hiding under a table in a basement. Rather than surrender, he chose poorly to resist arrest and actively fight K-9 Diablo.
His resistance was eventually overcome and he was taken into custody. He was charged by S.C.S.O. with Resisting Arrest, and also arrested on the outstanding Sullivan County and K.P.D. warrants. He was transported to Indian Path Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries and then to the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville for confinement pending arraignment.
The Kingsport Police Department would like to thank the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this incident. For further details on the circumstances of Mr. Sells’ apprehension, please contact S.C.S.O. Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart.