Two men have been arrested after an alleged shoplifting at tempt in Kingsport was witnessed by an off-duty police officer, who then tried to stop the suspects but was nearly ran over by their vehicle in the process.
According to reports at the Kingsport Police Department, the incident began at about 8 p.m. Sunday at Walmart, 2500 West Stone Drive. An off-duty Kingsport officer allegedly saw loss prevention personnel arguing in the parking lot with a man, who appeared to have merchandise stuffed under his shirt.
According to the off-duty officer's statements to the responding officer, who arrived later at the scene, the suspect began running across the parking lot.
"He circled around in an attempt to cut the suspect off and detain him and as he approached the suspect, he repeatedly identified himself as an off-duty Kingsport Police Officer," reads the report.
Police say that as the suspect approached a blue Buick occupied by a driver, he began yelling that the cops were after him. When the car backed out of its parking space, the off-duty officer again identified himself as police, and told the driver to stop the car.
The reports states that while attempting to remove the shoplifting suspect from the car, the man told the driver to, "gun it." The car then accelerated, "at a high rate of speed," according to police, nearly knocking the off-duty officer to the ground. The officer reports thinking the driver was going to run over him as the vehicle sped away.
According to Walmart's loss prevention office, the suspect had stolen, "several CDs" from the store.
A separate report from Church Hill police says a BOLO was issued for the suspects' blue Buick. At about 9 p.m. the car was seen on Goshen Valley Road, and police stopped it.
According to the Church Hill officer, Terry Gunter, 44, of 2479 Goshen Valley Road, was alone in the vehicle. He was allegedly found in possession of five Oxycodone and three Diazepam. At that time Church Hill police arrested Gunter, charging him possession of schedule II and IV drugs and driving on a revoked license.
Gunter allegedly told police he had dropped off his passenger, identified as Cole McMackin, 39, of Kingsport, at another location. Kingsport police obtained warrants for McMackin. They also reported seeking warrants for Gunter on felony reckless endangerment, for allegedly driving McMackin from the shoplifting incident Walmart.
Kingsport police say that about 1:30 Monday morning they located McMackin at 3417 Watterson St., No. 79. When the resident invited them inside, McMackin came walking down the hallway.
Police report McMackin, who was "uncooperative," was arrested and charged with felony reckless endangerment, resisting stop and arrest and theft of less than $500.
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