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Foot chase arrest results in injured officer

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

From WRIL

Delbert Roark - BCDC

On Saturday afternoon January 12, 2019 a short time before 2:00pm Middlesboro Officer Jeremiah Johnson made a traffic stop on a two-door black Chevrolet at south 21st street and Evans Drive. Officer Johnson states the vehicle was stopped in the middle of the roadway with no stop sign.


Upon contact with the vehicle, Johnson states that the unidentified driver was compliant but the passenger, identified later as 35 year old Delbert Roark of Middlesboro, was in the seat moving around, acting nervous and kept reaching for something in the side door panel.


Johnson also reports that Roark identified himself as “Chris Smith” and was told several times not to keep reaching around. The officer states that he saw a handle of a 9mm firearm in the floorboard where Roark was seated. Roark then opened the passenger door and fled the scene on foot.


Officer Johnson goes on to state that he chased Roark on Evans Drive into a wooded area. During the chase and then capture Roark tried reaching around his waistband to get rid of a baggie that contained a crystal-like substance believed to be Methamphetamine. Roark became combative and fought with Johnson. He was arrested and cuffed, but the fight resulted in Officer Johnson breaking his right hand.


Officer Kenny Vanover assisted toward the end of the incident and stayed with the vehicle. Officer Nick Capps assisted in the writing of the report due to Johnson’s injury.


Delbert Roark was lodged in the Bell County Detention Center charged with:

Possession of controlled substance 1st degree, 1st offense – Methamphetamine, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, fleeing or evading police – on foot, resisting arrest, tampering with physical evidence, and disorderly conduct – 2nd degree.


He was also served a parole violation for a felony offense and a pay or stay bench warrant.

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