Knox County man fights with alleged robbers

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A Knox County man catches thieves in the act of stealing his stuff! He then got into a fight with the alleged burglars.

Now eight people are charged in connection with the theft.

Charles Collins says he feared for his life when he encountered thieves on his property near Barbourville.

"Just from the God almighty or I probably would not be here," Collins said.

Collins says thieves have stolen items from his scrap yard for months. When he saw the four men, he decided to act. He blocked the road with his vehicle and got his shotgun.
"I was holding the gun on them," said Collins.

He says three of the men ran away, but one, Kenneth Hooker, stayed and wrestled for the gun.

"I was sure they would have killed me, murdered me," said Collins.

Collins says during the fight with Hooker for the gun, he found a knife on the ground.

"That gave me a chance to let go (of the gun) and I ripped him once, and he still wouldn't let go and the next time, I ripped him harder," he said.

Collins' finger was also sliced open during the incident with the knife. He required stitches.

The suspects ran away from the scene before deputies arrived.

Sheriff Deputies say a few minutes later, the suspects tried to report a false ATV accident to cover-up the fight.

Deputies arrested the four suspects and four others were also arrested in connection to the theft. Those charged with robbery are Kenneth Hooker, Johnny Saylor, Debra Kelly, Sandy Allen Rice, Jerry Middleton, and Ted Ray Davis. David Davis is charged with fleeing and evading police. John E. Middleton is charged with hindering prosecution.

Now that the suspects are arrested, Collins says he wants some of his stolen items back. He is offering a one thousand dollar reward to get a motorbike returned.

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