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Rogersville man who pulled knife in emergency room disarmed at gunpoint

Jeff Bobo • Updated Jul 6, 2017 at 11:16 AM

ROGERSVILLE — An emergency room patient who allegedly brandished a knife Tuesday morning at Hawkins County Memorial Hospital eventually dropped the weapon, but only after an standoff at gunpoint with Rogersville police.

RPD Detective Travis Fields said Jessie Darnell Rawlings never pointed the knife at nurses or doctors, nor did anyone in the E.R. during the incident feel as if they were being held against their will.

In fact, nurses indicated they were more concerned about Rawlings injuring himself.

However, Rawlings refused to drop the knife even after police arrived and drew their weapons. Fields said it took officers several minutes to talk him into dropping the knife.

Rawlings, 60, 346 Kite Road, Rogersville, initially went to the E.R. for mental issues following a domestic incident.

Shortly after 8 a.m., RPD officers Andy Banks and Joey Maddox responded to the hospital, where they found Rawlings standing at the nurses’ station holding an open pocket knife behind his back.

“Upon speaking to Mr. Rawlings, I observed him to be unsteady on his feet and have the smell of alcohol about his breath and person,” Banks stated in his report. “There were two nurses and a doctor present in the nurse station during this time, and they were also telling him prior to our arrival to put the knife down, without success.”

Officers eventually convinced Rawlings to drop the knife, at which time he was arrested and charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

Fields said officers chose not to charge Rawlings with more serious charges such as felony aggravated assault because he didn’t actually threaten anyone or prevent anyone from leaving.

Rawlings was arraigned Wednesday in Hawkins County Sessions Court and remained held in the Hawkins County Jail on $1,061 bond pending his next court appearance set for July 10.                                                                       

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