KPD e-News Release: Vehicle Sought by Kingsport Police in Connection with Probe into Suspicious Death

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: Vehicle Sought by Kingsport Police in Connection with Probe into Suspicious Death
DATE: February 2, 2017
CASE #: 17-002406
GENERAL NARRATIVE
Kingsport Police are attempting to locate a vehicle with potential ties to a suspicious death investigation on Mull Street in Kingsport. A somewhat unique white 1-ton Chevrolet camper conversion van, believed to have been owned by the decedent, is presently unaccounted for. Two photographs of the van in question have been included in this release.

Anyone who has any knowledge of the current whereabouts of this van is asked to promptly 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

As this continues to be an active ongoing investigation, absolutely no additional details can be released at this time.

As previously released:

On January 31, 2017 at approximately 7:45 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers were dispatched to a home on Mull Street in Kingsport after a neighbor had requested that officers check the welfare of the resident.

Upon arrival, the responding officers observed an unresponsive person inside the residence. The officers forced entry into the home and confirmed that the individual was in fact deceased.

This discovery is in the process of being thoroughly investigated as a suspicious death. The decedent has been sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office at the Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City for autopsy.

As this investigation is still in its infancy, and due to the ongoing active nature of it, absolutely 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: Kingsport Detectives Investigating Suspicious Death

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 Investigating Suspicious Death
DATE: February 1, 2017
CASE #: 17-002406
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On January 31, 2017 at approximately 7:45 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers were dispatched to a home on Mull Street in Kingsport after a neighbor had requested that officers check the welfare of the resident.

Upon arrival, the responding officers observed an unresponsive person inside the residence. The officers forced entry into the home and confirmed that the individual was in fact deceased.

This discovery is in the process of being thoroughly investigated as a suspicious death. The decedent has been sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office at the Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City for autopsy.

As this investigation is still in its infancy, and due to the ongoing active nature of it, absolutely 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: Driver with Revoked License Flees After Giving ID Card to Officer (Update: Suspect in Custody)

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: Driver with Revoked License Flees After Giving ID Card to Officer (Update: Suspect in Custody)
DATE: February 1, 2017
CASE #: 17-001965
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On January 31, 2017 at approximately 10:00 PM, Donald Wayne Pickle, III was turned over to Kingsport Police Officers by Sullivan County Sheriff’s Deputies after being captured in their jurisdiction. He was transported to the Kingsport City Jail where he remains confined in lieu of a $20,000 bond a set by the presiding judge.

As previously released:

On January 26, 2017 at approximately 11:30 PM, a Kingsport Police Patrol Sergeant was eastbound on East Stone Drive near Arbutus Avenue, when he observed a vehicle, with headlights on high beam, approaching from the opposite direction, effectively blinding the officer as well as other motorists in the vicinity. The driver never dimmed the headlights and eventually passed the officer.

The officer turned his cruiser around and initiated a traffic stop so that he could address this safety infraction with the driver. Despite a clear display of emergency signal devices including flashing blue lights and audible siren, the driver failed to stop. The vehicle continued a significant distance along East Stone Drive, turned right on Gibson Mill Road, and eventually pulled over near the intersection of Bloomingdale Pike.

As the officer approached the driver’s side of the vehicle on foot, a Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper arrived on scene as backup and approached the passenger’s side. When asked why he failed to stop, the driver replied that he was looking for a safe place to stop. When asked for his driver license, the driver stated that it was revoked. He was, however, kind enough to hand over his Tennessee ID Card, positively identifying himself as Donald Wayne Pickle, III.

The ID Card was clearly emblazoned with the text in bright red bold print: “IDENTIFICATION ONLY” and “NOT VALID FOR OPERATION OF ANY TYPE OF VEHICLE.” A check of his driving history revealed that he had three prior arrests for Driving on a Revoked License. The officer asked Mr. Pickle to step out of the vehicle; however, Mr. Pickle chose instead to throw the car in gear and speed away, nearly striking the THP Trooper in the process.

Mr. Pickle turned right on Bloomingdale Pike and drove about a quarter of a mile before pulling over again and fleeing on foot. The officers searched the immediate area; however, Mr. Pickle was able to at least temporarily evade capture. Upon searching his vehicle prior to towing it, the officer located two open, but still ice cold, Busch beers between the two front seats. One was nearly empty, while the other was still mostly full.

A warrant has been obtained charging Mr. Pickle with 1) Aggravated Assault, 2) Felony Reckless Endangerment, 3) Felony Evading Arrest, 4) Driving on a Revoked License (4th Offense), 5) Driver in Possession of Open Alcohol, and 6) Violation of Light Law. Mr. Pickle is described as a 36 year old white male adult. He is mostly bald with hazel eyes and a stubbly mustache and beard. He stands approximately 5 feet 11 inches in height, weighs roughly 200 pounds, and is of average build.

A snapshot of his ID Card, complete with a recent photograph, is included in this release. He is currently wanted and still at large. Anyone who can provide any information regarding his present whereabouts is asked to contact 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

WANTED SUSPECT INFORMATION
Name Donald Wayne Pickle, III
Age Date of Birth 2/18/1980

36 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 363 Samlola Road

Blountville, TN

Charge(s) 1) Aggravated Assault

2) Felony Reckless Endangerment

3) Felony Evading Arrest

4) Driving on Revoked License (4th Offense)

5) Driver in Possession of Open Alcohol

6) Violation of Light Law

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Drug Impaired Car Wash Employee Charged and Arrested in 2016 Crash that Injured Co-worker

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: Drug Impaired Car Wash Employee Charged and Arrested in 2016 Crash that Injured Co-worker
DATE: February 1, 2017
CASE #: 16-004947 (Initial Crash Report)

17-002250 (Incident/Arrest Report)

GENERAL NARRATIVE
On March 10, 2016 at approximately 8:50 AM, Crash Investigators from the Kingsport Police Department Traffic Unit responded to a motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian at Southern Classic Car Wash, located at 4264 Fort Henry Drive, in the Colonial Heights area of Kingsport. The ensuing investigation revealed the following:

An employee, Dwane Larry Whitfield, Jr., was pulling a customer’s 2007 Ford F-150 out of the wash bay into a drying area when he struck fellow employee Ronald S. Herndon who was working in the drying area. Mr. Herndon was pushed forward and pinned between the truck and a dirt embankment.

Mr. Herndon sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center by Sullivan County E.M.S. for emergency treatment.

Mr. Whitfield’s driver license was classified as revoked at the time of the crash. Due to the seriousness of injuries inflicted upon his co-worker, investigators requested that Mr. Whitfield submit to a blood test. He consented, with the resultant sample being sent to the T.B.I. Crime Lab for analysis.

This crash has remained under investigation by the K.P.D. Traffic Unit while awaiting the results from the T.B.I. Crime Lab.

In May 2016, a preliminary lab report was received showing that Mr. Whitfield was negative for alcohol; however, two additional reports followed in June and August 2016 showing him positive for multiple prescription medications to include Nordiazepam, Clonazepam, 7-Amino Clonazepam, Buprenorphine (a.k.a. Subutex), and Norbuprenorphine.

The results of the investigation were submitted to the Office of the Sullivan County District Attorney for review. On January 18, 2017 the facts of the case were presented to the Sullivan County Grand Jury who returned a true bill, charging Mr. Whitfield with 1) Reckless Aggravated Assault, 2) Vehicular Assault, 3) Driving Under the Influence, and 4) Driving on a Revoked License. On January 24, 2017 a Criminal Court Capias was issued for his arrest.

On January 30, 2017 at approximately 11:30 AM, K.P.D. Officers arrested Mr. Whitfield at his residence on Bell Ridge Road in Kingsport. He was transported to the Kingsport City Jail for processing and then forwarded to the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville for confinement. He has since been released after posting a $5,000 bond as set by the presiding judge.

Coincidentally, an almost identical motor vehicle collision occurred at this same car wash roughly a week later, where a different employee also struck a fellow employee with a customer’s vehicle; however, in the second instance, the investigation revealed that the driver had a valid license and was not impaired, so no charges were filed.

SUSPECT INFORMATION
Name Dwane Larry Whitfield, Jr.
Age Date of Birth 6/25/1978

38 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 837 Bell Ridge Road

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) 1) Reckless Aggravated Assault

2) Vehicular Assault

3) Driving Under the Influence

4) Driving on a Revoked License

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Driver Tracked Down and Charged After Crashing Car into Convenience Store and Leaving the Scene

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: Driver Tracked Down and Charged After Crashing Car into Convenience Store and Leaving the Scene
DATE: February 1, 2017
CASE #: 17-002119 (Crash Report)

17-002134 (Incident Report)

GENERAL NARRATIVE
On January 28, 2017 at approximately 7:30 PM, a driver, later identified as Kelley P. Brown, crashed his 2011 Honda Accord into the Sunoco Gas Station and Convenience Store, located at 4001 Memorial Boulevard in Kingsport. The impact caused extensive structural damage to the exterior and interior of the building. Mr. Brown then proceeded to back his car out of the building and flee the scene.

A clerk was treated at the scene for superficial injuries. Responding Officers were able to track down Mr. Brown at his residence later that evening. He offered no explanation for the crash or his actions. He was arrested for Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Collision and subsequently released on a Misdemeanor Citation in lieu of continued custody, ordering him to appear in court at a later date.

SUSPECT INFORMATION
Name Kelley P. Brown
Age Date of Birth 2/2/1974

42 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 2356 Woodridge Avenue

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Collision
RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Several Suspects in Custody in Connection with Multiple Kingsport Motor Vehicle Thefts

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: Several Suspects in Custody in Connection with Multiple Kingsport Motor Vehicle Thefts
DATE: January 30, 2017
CASE #: 17-000907 (Stolen Ford Mustang)

17-001529 (Stolen Mazda Six)

17-001532 (Recovered Ford Mustang/Arrest for Other Agency)

17-001533 (Recovered Ford Mustang/New KPD Charges)

17-001857 (Stolen Mercedes E430)

17-002100 (Stolen/Recovered Toyota Corolla)

17-002162 (Recovered Toyota Corolla/Arrest for Other Agency)

SCSO 201701-1076 (Recovered Mercedes/New SCSO Charges)

GENERAL NARRATIVE
Five suspects are in custody in connection with four recent motor vehicle thefts in the City of Kingsport.

On January 12, 2017 at approximately 1:00 PM, a 2006 Ford Mustang was stolen from a residence in the 1600 block of West Sullivan Street. The victim reported that two unknown suspects had asked him to borrow his vehicle, but when he declined, they got into his car and drove away anyway. At the time of the theft, the vehicle was unlocked with the keys in the ignition.

Ten days later on January 22, 2017 at approximately 7:30 AM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers located the stolen Mustang in the parking lot of Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, located at 750 Lynn Garden Drive. James and Chelcee Cheruk (husband and wife) were asleep in the vehicle.

Not only were the Cheruks in the stolen Mustang, but they were also in possession of a handgun and unlawful drug paraphernalia. It was further determined that Mr. Cheruk was a convicted felon and was also wanted on a pre-existing outstanding warrant. Both were arrested and transported to the Kingsport City Jail.

On January 22, 2017 at approximately 3:30 AM, a 2003 Mazda Six was stolen from the owner in an apparent carjacking incident somewhere in Downtown Kingsport. The victim reported meeting a female suspect, later identified as Lauren Elizabeth Paugh, on FaceBook, and the two arranged to meet in person.

Ms. Paugh got into the victim’s car and instructed him to drive to a gas station at which point two male suspects got into the back seat. Somewhere in the Downtown Kingsport area, they instructed him to stop the car, demanded that he hand over his pocket knife and cell phone, and ordered him out of the vehicle. The trio drove away in the Mazda.

One of the male suspects in this incident has been identified as the already mentioned James Cheruk while the identity of the other male suspect remains under investigation. Mr. Cheruk and Ms. Paugh have both been charged in this incident. The Mazda was later recovered after being wrecked and abandoned in Bristol.

On January 25, 2017 at approximately 9:15 PM, a 2001 Mercedes E430 was stolen from the owner in an apparent carjacking incident in the vicinity of Cloud Apartments, located in the 1200 block of Reedy Place. The exact circumstances of this incident remain under investigation.

The following evening on January 26, 2017 at approximately 5:00 PM, Deputies from the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office located the stolen Mercedes traveling along Highway 394 in their jurisdiction. The driver, later identified as Michael R. Goins, was eventually apprehended following an extensive vehicle pursuit, foot chase, and manhunt.

Mr. Goins has been charged by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office with 1) Felony Evading Arrest, 2) Felony Reckless Endangerment, 3) Felony Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, 4) Driving on a Suspended License, 5) Reckless Driving, 6) Speeding (in excess of 100 mph in a 45 mph zone), and 7) Passing a Stop Sign (2 counts).

On January 28, 2017 at approximately 5:00 PM, a 2008 Toyota Corolla was reported stolen. The victim reported that he had initially loaned the car to a woman who never returned it. Kingsport Police Patrol Officers later observed the Toyota being driven by an unidentified male suspect and initiated a traffic stop; however, the driver successfully fled in the vehicle.

The following day on January 29, 2017 at approximately 4:00 AM, the Toyota was recovered at Dogwood Terrace Apartments, located at 1921 Bowater Drive in Kingsport. At the time it was recovered, the previously mentioned Chelcee Cheruk and a male suspect, later identified as Larry M. Palladino, were standing in opposing front doorways of the vehicle with both front doors ajar. Both were promptly arrested.

Including these 4 stolen vehicles, the Kingsport Police Department is currently investigating a total of at least 16 motor vehicle thefts (two of which were initiated as carjackings) that have occurred since the beginning of 2017. All of these remain under open and very active investigation with Detectives working to see if and how they are all potentially connected.

Anyone who may have any information regarding any of these motor vehicle thefts 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

In the meantime, area residents are strongly urged to take some basic precautionary measures and use some good old fashioned common sense to help prevent these types of crimes from occurring, and in turn, avoid becoming a victim. Citizens are encouraged to never leave their vehicle unlocked when it is unattended, never leave the keys in the ignition unless they are actually in the driver’s seat, never loan their car to untrusted individuals, and never give rides to strangers.

SUSPECT #1 INFORMATION
Name Lauren Elizabeth Paugh
Age Date of Birth 5/16/1992

24 Years of Age

Gender/Race Female/White
Residency 1921 Bowater Drive, Apartment #63

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) Carjacking

SUSPECT #2 INFORMATION
Name Chelcee D. Cheruk
Age Date of Birth 5/8/1992

24 Years of Age

Gender/Race Female/White
Residency 116 Mcteer Drive

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) 1) Felony Possession of a Stolen Vehicle

2) Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

3) Also Arrested on Outstanding Sullivan County Warrant

SUSPECT #3 INFORMATION
Name Larry M. Palladino
Age Date of Birth 12/24/1990

26 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 2484 Siam Road

Elizabethon, TN

Charge(s) Felony Possession of a Stolen Vehicle

SUSPECT #4 INFORMATION
Name James Anthony Cheruk
Age Date of Birth 2/14/1983

33 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 116 Mcteer Drive

Kingsport, TN

Charge(s) 1) Carjacking

2) Felony Possession of a Stolen Vehicle

3) Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon

4) Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

5) Also arrested on outstanding Sullivan County warrant for Simple Drug Possession

SUSPECT #5 INFORMATION
Name Michael R. Goins
Age Date of Birth 8/11/1991

25 Years of Age

Gender/Race Male/White
Residency 421 Bay Street

Mount Carmel, TN

Charge(s) Charges filed by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office

1) Felony Evading Arrest

2) Felony Reckless Endangerment

3) Felony Possession of a Stolen Vehicle

4) Driving on a Suspended License

5) Reckless Driving

6) Speeding (in excess of 100 mph in a 45 mph zone)

7) Passing a Stop Sign (2 counts)

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KPD e-News Release: Kingsport Police Investigating Rash of Utility Trailer and Riding Lawnmower Thefts

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 Rash of Utility Trailer and Riding Lawnmower Thefts
DATE: January 30, 2017
CASE #: 17-001643 (Tractor Supply)

17-001691 (EZ Rental)

17-001778 (Private Residence)

17-001901 (GCR Tires)

17-002234 (Lowe’s)

GENERAL NARRATIVE
The Kingsport Police Department is investigating a rash of utility trailer and riding lawnmower thefts that have occurred over the past week. Detectives are looking into the high probability that some or all of these incidents may involve the same suspect or group of suspects. Several of the incidents reported thus far are detailed below:

On January 23, 2017 at approximately 3:30 PM, a 5×8 foot mesh bottom utility trailer ($700 value) was stolen from Tractor Supply, located at 2206 Minnich Trail. The unidentified suspect was a white male, and he was driving an older model (late 1980s to early 1990s) faded blue Chevrolet Blazer sport utility vehicle. The vehicle had “Chevrolet” printed in gold letters across the rear hatch/tailgate area.

During the overnight hours of January 23-24, 2017, a Craftsman riding lawnmower (over $1,000 value) was stolen from EZ Rental, located at 1420 East Stone Drive.

During the overnight hours of January 24-25, 2017, a 5×8 foot utility trailer ($1,100 value) was stolen from a private residence in the 1200 block of Valleydale Drive.

During the overnight hours of January 25-26, 2017, a tandem-axle 4-wheeled utility trailer (over $2,200 value) was stolen from GCR Tires, located at 1551 South Wilcox Drive.

On January 28, 2017 at approximately 8:30 PM, a Troy-Bilt riding lawnmower ($1,000 value) was stolen from Lowe’s, located at 2324 West Stone Drive. Two unidentified white male suspects arrived in a dark-colored pickup truck pulling a utility trailer. They loaded the lawnmower onto the trailer and fled the scene.

The suspect vehicle in the Lowe’s incident was captured on surveillance video, with a photo taken from that footage included in this release.

Anyone who recognizes this vehicle or who may have any information regarding any of the aforementioned incidents 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

One final important note: In some of these incidents, the property owner had taken at least minimal steps to secure the property that was stolen, but that security measure was easily defeated. In other cases, the property that was stolen had been left completed unsecured. All property owners, whether they be a business or a private citizen, are encouraged to make themselves aware that thefts of this nature do occur from time to time, and they are strongly urged to secure easily portable property at the highest practical level.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit