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: K.P.D. Detectives Seeking Three Individuals in Felony Shoplifting Investigation
DATE: January 30, 2015
CASE #: 15-001018
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On January 15, 2015 at approximately 10:00 PM, a group of individuals conspired to shoplift over $1,800 in merchandise from Wal-Mart, located at 2500 West Stone Drive in Kingsport. Among the stolen items were a collection of power and hand tools, assorted articles of clothing, and other various household items.

K.P.D. Detectives are attempting to identify two white males and one white female in connection with this investigation. Images of these three individuals captured on surveillance video are included in this release. A short clip of the actual video footage has been made available for viewing on the K.P.D. YouTube channel via the link below:

http://youtu.be/cgeMB0A1ikA

Anyone who recognizes any of these suspects 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:

http://police.KingsportTN.gov/Citizen_Feedback

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

Flying_Pig2_3

KINGSPORT – Flying Pig Gallery & Studios offers a variety of Art workshops to the public. An exciting line up is being announced for February 2015.

  • February 7: Learn techniques of wood burning from a master. Michele Howe will teach an introductory class from 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM. There will be some tools available for students or you can bring your own. ‚ Cost: $60. Bring a snack/lunch for a mid-day break.

  • February 14: Learn how to make a book using Coptic binding. Noon – 5 PM. Class will be taught by Judie Dysart. Each student will work on his/her own project and have a handmade book to take home at the end of the day to use as a journal or give as a gift. Judie is a member of the Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild in Atlanta and the Overmountain Weaving Guild here in Kingsport. Students should bring materials specified by the instructor. Cost: $10 per person.
  • February 21: Make a market basket with master basket weaver Joy Smith. 9 am until 4pm, or 5 if people need extra time. The basket is an 8″ x 12″ market basket, woven with rattan. Very useful as an everyday working basket.  Cost: $65 All materials are furnished.

Registration can be done online at www.EngageKingsport.com or by calling (423) 392-8414 or in person at the Flying Pig. Flying Pig Gallery & Studios is located at 246 Broad Street, Kingsport TN [corner of Center Street & Broad Street] in the heart of Downtown Kingsport. The gallery is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm (Fridays -til 7pm).

Flying Pig is an exciting new Arts Space located in two adjacent buildings located on the corner of Broad and Center streets in Downtown Kingsport, TN. Flying Pig Gallery & Studios is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am-7 pm (Fridays -til 7 pm)

The spirit of the Flying Pig is community. This is a space for creative people to be a vital part of the new Downtown Kingsport. Where dreams can come true and you can make a lot of good friends on the way.

The incredible revitalization of the neighborhood has been due to many creative and enthusiastic people. The arts play an integral role in economic and community development. We want to recognize all the incredible talent there is in the entire Southern Appalachian region and also right here in the City of Kingsport. We have a wealth of cultural assets and want to showcase visual and performing art, fine craft, traditional craft, and fine art.

The gallery side features Fine Art and Fine Craft by several nationally-acclaimed artists & craftspeople. There are paintings, jewelry, pottery, textiles, photography and more. All artwork is for sale. There will be a series of art classes for children and adults offered to the public over the next few months. There will also be professional artist studios located in the space where the public will be able to see the actual production of art work as well as interact with the artists. Studio spaces are still available.

The studio side features the Kingsport Carousel animals that have been hand-carved from wood, and then hand-painted. The Carousel‚ animals have been located in businesses throughout Kingsport over the past several months so that the public could see the animals that will go on to the Carousel when it is completed sometime in 2015. Now, all of the animals have been collected in one location open for the public to visit. In addition to the Carousel animals, the Sweep Animals, Rounding Boards, Bird Paintings, Flower Paintings, Butterfly Paintings and other Carousel components are also on exhibit. Carvers and painters will‚ be on hand to talk about the process of creating these beautiful animals, and to discuss the story behind each animal and how each component of the Carousel is tied to the Kingsport Community. There is a Kingsport Carousel store (future gift shop) located within the studios with beautiful t-shirts, notecards, posters, and much more for sale.

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: K.P.D. Vice Investigation Results in Indictment of Nurse for Narcotics Fraud
DATE: January 28, 2015
CASE #: 13-014702
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On January 21, 2015 Michael Todd Burkhart, a former Kingsport nurse, was indicted by the Sullivan County Grand Jury for 61 counts of Obtaining Narcotics by Fraud and Theft Under $500. This indictment comes as a result of a lengthy investigation by the Kingsport Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division and Vice and Narcotics Unit into missing medication from the Catheterization Laboratory (Cath Lab) of a local hospital.

On September 4, 2013 Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to a report of stolen medication from the Cath Lab of Indian Path Medical Center, located at 2000 Brookside Drive in Kingsport. Officers spoke with the pharmacy manager who had discovered unusually large amounts of the drug Fentanyl being used by the Cath Lab.

Further consultation between the Pharmacy Manager and the Cath Lab manager revealed that Mr. Burkhart, a Register Nurse (RN) employed by the Indian Path Cath Lab, had diverted or stolen numerous doses of Fentanyl as well as numerous doses of Dilaudid from the hospital during July and August of 2013. Both of these prescription drugs are classified as opioids. Mr. Burkhart had signed out the medication as if he would be administering it to patients; however, the amounts he checked out were too large for individual use, so he was believed to have stolen the remaining medication. The stolen medication had a value of approximately $400.

Mr. Burkhart is no longer employed by Indian Path Medical Center and has since relocated to Hamilton County, TN. On January 27, 2015, Mr. Burkhart was arrested at his residence by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. He is currently being held in the Hamilton County Jail on a $10,000 bond awaiting transfer back to Sullivan County.

SUSPECT INFORMATION
Name Michael Todd Burkhart
Age Date of Birth 4/7/1966

48 Years of Age

Race/Gender White/Male
Residency 6006 Bayshore Drive

Harrison, TN

Charge(s) 1) Obtaining Narcotics by Fraud (61 Counts)

2) Theft Under $500

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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: Hoax Video of Staged Robbery Gets Local Music Store a Visit from Kingsport Police
DATE: January 26, 2015
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On January 23, 2015 the Kingsport Police Department was made aware of a video that had been circulated on YouTube, purporting to be surveillance footage of an actual robbery to a local music store in Kingsport. Not only was the video posted on a popular social media platform, but a link to the video was also emailed to at least one local media outlet.

The video depicted a masked, knife wielding, suspect attempting an armed robbery, with the owner of the store foiling the robbery by pointing a large handgun at the suspect. The caption that accompanied the video indicated that it was an actual robbery that had occurred the previous evening.

An immediate search of K.P.D. incident reports and dispatch records showed no history of this alleged crime having ever been reported. K.P.D. reached out to the store owner who initially claimed that the attempted robbery really occurred. When asked why it was not reported to the police, he said that he did not report it since nobody was injured and nothing was stolen.

A few minutes later, the Patrol Watch Commander contacted the owner to arrange for an officer to take an incident report and begin an investigation. During this second conversation the truth finally surfaced. The owner apologized for his dishonesty, admitted it was staged, and acknowledged that the “robber” in the video was a trained actor that he and an employee had hired to play the role. At the request of K.P.D. the video was temporarily removed from YouTube.

Further investigation on January 26, 2015 involved a conversation between Kingsport Police Detectives and the owner and employee of the music store. During this meeting, detectives provided them with a copy of Tennessee Code Annotated 39-16-502 which is the state statute regarding false reporting. This law states that it is unlawful to make a statement in response to a legitimate inquiry by a law enforcement officer concerning a material fact about an incident knowing that the statement is false. False reporting can be either a Class C or D felony depending on the circumstances.

The store owner and employee apologized and told detectives that they meant no harm and were merely trying to make a video that would go “viral” to help boost business and discourage crime at their store. No charges have been placed in this incident; however, it remains under investigation. The video has been made available for viewing again on YouTube; however, it is now accompanied by a disclaimer more accurately and appropriately labeling it as being “staged” and “not real.”

The Kingsport Police Department wishes to stress that, regardless of their intent, the actions of these individuals were deceitful, foolish, irresponsible, and short-sighted and were ultimately a complete waste of valuable law enforcement resources. This incident should be used by others as an example of what not to do.

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

KINGSPORT – Looking for after school activities for your children?? We can help! Join us at the Kingsport Public Library on February 5th from 3:00-5:00 pm for our Kingsport Kids Out and About activity fair! Local extracurricular activity providers will‚  have tables throughout the library, stop by each to discuss their offerings, receive flyers and brochures.

KINGSPORT ‚¬ City leaders indicate that more than 1,200 parking spaces are available in the downtown area; with more properties available should parking pressures develop in the future.

Planning leaders meet quarterly with the Positive Parking Committee of downtown business owners and others to discuss current problems and potential fixes.

Its this group that has developed overnight parking passes for downtown residents and revised customers parking passes for downtown merchants that allow customers to exceed the standard two hour limit.

I have worked with several communities in the Southeast, both rural and metro, and having a downtown urban core with a perceived parking problem is a great indicator of thriving activity, Development Services Director Lynn Tully said Tuesday. In reality, we have plenty of parking available.

Questions over parking availability recently returned to the forefront with the successful recruitment of IntelliHARTX to a building on the corner of Center and Commerce streets. The company, a patient contact firm, expects to open with about 100 employees, but this could grow to as many as 500 jobs over the next four years.

At the same time, the downtown area continues to draw new residents, with more than 100 loft apartments and condos now in use.

Our understanding is that employees at the IntelliHARTX facility will be working in shifts, so that should lessen the impact, Tully said. And with our lofts, many of our downtown residents now tend to park overnight in the garage or in lots. We are seeing very few parking on the street anymore.

Currently, there are 11 free public parking areas within a walking distance of three to seven minutes. The largest, by far, is the Shelby Street Parking Garage with 363 parking spaces on three levels. At peak times, the facility still has 45 to 50 percent of capacity.

The key crunch area at the moment tends to center on the 90 space lot at the corner of Commerce and Market streets.‚  This lot serves a restaurant and other personal service businesses nearby, as well as WKPT TV-19 employees.

But a block away is another 145 space lot on Cherokee Street. This lot is only a five minute walk to the corner of Center and Broad streets.

There are a number of options we could consider if parking gets too tight, Tully said. The City holds several parcels that could be converted to parking if needed.

This inventory includes the former Wards Feed Store, the former Traffic Division building next to the Cherokee Street lot, and the gravel area near Sleepy Owl Brewery, among other possibilities.

Another option might be to consider adding on-street parking, as many of the public side streets downtown feature especially wide public right-of-ways.

Based on my experience, our current parking availability is good, with a very reasonable distribution of parking areas, Tully said. All of them are convenient, safe and accessible. But we stay in touch with our downtown customers to see how we can continue to improve.

Please note: Below you will find a map of downtown parking lots and a second map denoting how much of this parking is within the bartprint of a typical Walmart.

Downtown Parking Lots

Walmart Parking Outline

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: Man Previously Charged with Theft of Donation Jar Has Now Been Implicated in a Motor Vehicle Theft Investigation
DATE: January 26, 2015
CASE #: 15-001352
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On January 21, 2015 at approximately 7:30 AM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to a residence on Sewanee Street in reference to a stolen 2011 Hyundai Elantra stolen from the driveway during the early morning hours. The owner stated that he suspected that the keys had been left in the vehicle by mistake. Later that morning at approximately 9:00 AM the owner notified police that his vehicle had been returned to his residence by a person he knew only as “Slim.” When the owner stated that he was going to call the police, “Slim” fled on foot.

That same afternoon, in an unrelated incident, Olen R. Blaylock was arrested and charged with Criminal Impersonation and Theft under $500 after being identified as the suspect in the theft of money from a collection jar that was intended to benefit a sick child. For additional information on this incident please refer to the earlier news release:

http://kingsportpdblog.com/2015/01/22/kpd-e-news-release-donation-jar-thief-identified-and-arrested/

At the time of his arrest, Mr. Blaylock was in possession of a backpack. Mr. Blaylock denied ownership of the backpack and its contents. An inventory of the contents of the backpack revealed an assortment of items that were traced back to the victim of the earlier motor vehicle theft. The arresting detective also knew Mr. Blaylock was known by the nickname, “Slim.”

Further investigation resulted in the vehicle’s owner positively identifying Mr. Blaylock as the individual who stole his car. A warrant was obtained charging Mr. Blaylock with the additional charge of Theft over $10,000. He was served with the warrant while already detained in the Sullivan County Jail on the earlier charges. He remains incarcerated in lieu of a $10,000 bond.

SUSPECT INFORMATION
Name Olen R. Blaylock (a.k.a. “Slim”)
Age Date of Birth 5/7/1984

30 Years of Age

Race/Gender White/Male
Residency Homeless
Charge(s) Theft of Property over $10,000

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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: K.P.D. Searching for Suspect Who Went on Shopping Spree with Debit Card from Stolen Wallet
DATE: January 23, 2015
CASE #: 15-000928
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On January 14, 2015 at approximately 6:00 PM, an employee of Best Buy, located at 2716 East Stone Drive in Kingsport, accidentally dropped her wallet in the parking lot of the business. By the time she realized it was missing, it had already been stolen.

Among the miscellaneous items in the wallet were a debit card and some cash. That same evening, the suspect used the debit card to go on a shopping spree, making two purchases at Murphy U.S.A. on West Stone Drive and additional purchases at Wal-Mart on West Stone Drive and McDonald’s in Church Hill.

Kingsport Police have previously released surveillance images of a potential person of interest in this case. Further investigation has determined that that individual is no longer a suspect but rather a possible witness. Anyone who has any information that may help detectives solve this case is asked to call 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:

http://police.KingsportTN.gov/Citizen_Feedback

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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: Donation Jar Thief Identified and Arrested
DATE: January 22, 2015
CASE #: 14-023341
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On December 30, 2014, the Kingsport Police Department issued a news release asking for public assistance in identifying a suspect who stole monetary donations from a collection jar that were intended to benefit a sick child. Largely based on citizen feedback, Olen R. Blaylock was developed as the suspect in question.

On January 21, 2015 at approximately 12:30 PM, Kingsport Police Detectives located Mr. Blaylock in Downtown Kingsport. When asked for identification, Mr. Blaylock gave a false first name of “John” and a completely different date of birth than his own.

Mr. Blaylock was arrested for Criminal Impersonation and Theft under $500 and transported to the Kingsport City Jail. He remains incarcerated pending a $1,500 bond.

As previously released:

On December 6, 2014 at approximately 11:30 AM, a suspect entered Planet Vapor, located at 1001 East Stone Drive in Kingsport, and approached the check-out counter. A collection jar, requesting monetary donations to benefit a sick child, had been placed on the counter next to the cash register. The jar was believed to have contained an estimated $200 in donations.

The suspect waited for employees to temporarily leave the area and then took the jar from the counter, concealed it under his jacket, emptied the money into his jacket, and returned the empty jar to the counter.

The incident was captured by store surveillance cameras, and photos taken from that footage have been included in this release. The suspect appears to be a tall white male with long hair. Anyone who recognizes him is asked to contact Kingsport Police Detectives in the Criminal Investigations Division at 423-229-9429 or via 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:

http://police.KingsportTN.gov/Citizen_Feedback

SUSPECT INFORMATION
Name Olen R. Blaylock
Age Date of Birth 5/7/1984

30 Years of Age

Race/Gender White/Male
Residency Homeless
Charge(s) 1) Criminal Impersonation

2) Theft Under $500

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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 Solicit Citizen Assistance in Identifying Vacuum Cleaner Thief
DATE: January 21, 2015
CASE #: 14-023975
GENERAL NARRATIVE
On December 26, 2014 at approximately 5:00 PM, a white male suspect disabled a security device to enable him to shoplift a $700 Dyson vacuum cleaner from Kohl’s, located at 2626 East Stone Drive in Kingsport.

A photo of the suspect, taken from surveillance video, is included in this release. A clip of the video footage has been made available for viewing on the K.P.D. YouTube channel via the link below.

http://youtu.be/iDmRzafyfZo

Anyone who recognizes this individual 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:

http://police.KingsportTN.gov/Citizen_Feedback

RELEASING OFFICER
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit