NTPD officer saves life, nabs armed robber

Published 1:37 pm Wednesday, October 13, 2021

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Members of the New Tazewell Board of Mayor and Aldermen say the city is fortunate to have the kind of police officers who, by their actions, garner the kind of trust not necessarily found today in other corners of the country. One of those officers was honored recently for not one, but two incidents in which he used quick thinking, know-how and physical prowess.

New Tazewell Police Sergeant Harrison Cornett most likely saved a life and went on, just four days later, to nab an armed robber.

Cornett responded to a local bank on June 29 with the report of a vehicle blocking the drive-thru lane. Two unconscious men, thought to be intoxicated, were reportedly inside the vehicle.

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Cornett arrived on scene and quickly determined that the passenger of the vehicle was not breathing. The Sergeant detected no pulse, leading him to the conclusion that the man could be suffering from a drug overdose.

Cornett immediately pulled the male from the vehicle and started CPR, continuing with the lifesaving procedure until EMS arrived.

The man, who was transported to the hospital, later recovered.

Paramedics and others responding to the scene gave substantial credit for the positive outcome to Cornett’s lifesaving efforts.

Just four days later, Cornett found himself “in the right place at the right time” as he became the arresting officer of an armed robber. A description handed out just days prior confirmed in Cornett’s mind that he could be looking at the suspect and the vehicle used during the robbery of two Dollar General Stores – one in nearby Anderson County and the other in Lee County, Virginia.

The man was wearing the same clothing that had been worn during both of the robberies.

Cornett apprehended the robber and located the handgun used during the incidents. The handgun was later identified as a pellet gun.

New Tazewell Police Chief Ben Evans spent some time honoring the Sergeant during the September City Council meeting.

“It is my honor to know and work with Sgt. Harrison Cornett and award him with this plaque of appreciation on behalf of the New Tazewell Police Department and the City of New Tazewell,” said Evans.