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KPD charge three with assaulting neighbors

October 1st, 2013 12:49 pm by Rain Smith

KPD charge three with assaulting neighbors

Joshua A. Layne, Joseph Wingo and Chris Copas.

Two separate altercations between Kingsport neighbors have led to three arrests on charges of aggravated assault.

One suspect was allegedly caught cutting the valve stem on a tire of his neighbor's car, then swung a pair of pliers when confronted. The other two suspects were reportedly asked to "stop selling pills" — and responded by chasing people down the street with a fire poker and knife.

In the latter incident, Chris Copas, 44, of 100 Broadview St., was arrested Monday evening. His alleged accomplice, Joseph Wingo, 25, of 1645 Spruce St., was arrested early Tuesday morning.

According to reports at the Kingsport Police Department, officers responded to Broadview Street on Monday at approximately 6:15 p.m. An area resident told police that his daughter told him "someone is outside trying to sell pills."

The man said he exited, saw Wingo sitting on the sidewalk, and the pair exchanged words. The man said he later went to Wingo's residence to ask that he not return to his home selling pills.

At that point, according to the alleged victim's statements to police, Wingo pulled what appeared to be a fire poker from behind his back. The man told police that he turned and walked away to leave -- telling Wingo that he didn't want to argue — but Wingo yelled "come on" to another man on his porch, later identified as Copas.

Police say Copas and Wingo began chasing the man down the street. The man reportedly pulled out a pocketknife for self-defense but dropped the weapon, which was then picked up by Copas.

The man's wife later confronted Copas and Wingo in an attempt to retrieve the knife, according to arrest reports, but the armed pair then chased her down the road as well. They stopped when her husband picked up a crate and raised it above his head as if he was going to strike.

Besides the alleged victims, police also interviewed two additional witnesses. Reports say they both corroborated the husband and wife's account of events.

Copas was soon located at his home, interviewed by police and arrested on two counts of aggravated assault. Wingo was located on Spruce Street early Tuesday morning and arrested on the same charges.

The other incident occurred Thursday, with the suspect arrested early Tuesday morning. Joshua A. Layne, 21, of 660 East Sevier Ave., Apartment 90, is charged with aggravated assault and vandalism.

According to police reports, a resident of a neighboring apartment stepped outside to see Layne near the front of his Camaro. When the victim heard "what sounded like a tire being punctured," he walked to his car.

According to the man's statements, Layne stood up and swung an object that was in his hands. The vehicle owner then "punched Mr. Layne in the face," reads a police report, "until Mr. Layne fell to the ground and dropped the weapon."

When police arrived, Layne was still lying in the parking lot beside the car, bleeding from his face and head. An arrest report says a front tire on the Camaro was flat, with the valve stem lying near Layne's feet.

Pliers Layne is believed to have used in the vandalism, and then swung at the vehicle's owner when confronted, were beside him on the ground.

Layne was transported to the hospital for treatment of facial injuries and lacerations, while police obtained a warrant for his arrest. He was taken into custody Tuesday and transported to the city jail.

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