Driver arrested on multiple outstanding warrants

Published 9:24 am Saturday, October 22, 2022

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Joe Bullins of Middlesboro was arrested Oct. 19 by Bell County Sheriff’s deputies on several outstanding felony warrants.

He was observed driving that morning on U.S. 25E near the Pineville water treatment plant by K-9 Sgt. Adam Southern of the Bell County Sheriff’s Office, who had recent prior knowledge that Bullins had several outstanding felony warrants for his arrest. As Deputy Southern turned to initiate a traffic stop, Bullins sped off at a high rate of speed. The sergeant then activated his emergency lights and sirens in an attempt to stop the vehicle, but Bullins continued traveling on old U.S. 25E loop disregarding a stop sign and slamming on his brakes trying to cause the deputy to strike him.

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At one point as the pursuit continued on Highway 188, Bullins slowed as Southern attempted to pass and then swerved to strike the deputy’s vehicle causing him to nearly run off the roadway.

Bullins then traveled across Mountain Drive and then onto State Road 1344 until he disregarded another stop sign at the Highway 217 intersection near Shillalah, turning towards the Brownies Creek community. Finally, Bullins slammed on his brakes causing Southern to strike the rear corner of his vehicle.   

Bullins then stopped his vehicle in the middle of the road and attempted to quickly exit and flee the scene. A taser was deployed and Bullins began engaging in threatening and fighting behavior. A taser was deployed once again to gain compliance and successfully place him under arrest.

Bullins was then taken into custody and lodged in the Bell County Detention Center where he was charged with careless driving, reckless driving, no license, speeding 26mph over the limit, improper display of registration, no seat belt, criminal mischief – 2nd degree, menacing, resisting arrest, assault – 3rd degree (police officer), fleeing or evading police – 1st degree (motor vehicle), wanton endangerment – 1st degree, wanton endangerment – 1st-degree police officer and he was served (5) five warrants.

Also assisting were Chief Deputy Jared Smith and Sgt. Frank Foster.