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Police: Man with knife threatens Lynch city employee

A Lynch city employee says he feared for his life. Police say a man with a knife attacked the Lynch Maintenance Supervisor for no reason.

No one was seriously injured. The suspect, 36 year old Joseph Lee Collett, was arrested.

It happened early Monday morning.

Maintenance Supervisor Chris Adams was checking water tanks near Church Street when he says a man came out of the woods while he was sitting in his truck.

"Guy slapped the front of my truck. He came around and when he got to my mirror and it appeared, I seen a knife then, he opened my door. I thought I was going to die," Adams said.

Adams had never seen the man before.

"Don't know what he said. He was just screaming," Adams said.

Adams says he sped off with Collett still standing in his truck doorway with the knife.

"I look back in my mirror, and he was running up the street," said Adams.

After Adams drove away, police say the suspect went to a man's house on Main Street. Police say he beat on the home's door first.

"He ran off into the wooded brush line of the area and the owner came out with his gun and his dog at which time he spotted him, and held him there until we arrived. Subject was disarmed and taken into custody at that time," said Michael Nunley, Lynch Police Chief.

Officers are unsure why Collett, who does not live in Lynch, was in the woods and then allegedly threatening people but believe he was under the influence of drugs.

"Very fortunate no one was injured in this matter. Divine intervention was looking over some people," said Chief Nunley.

"I'm very thankful I didn't get killed, or drug out of the vehicle. He could've killed me or anything. I'm just glad he's off the streets. That way no one else gets hurt," said Adams.

Collett is charged with menacing, wanton endangerment, public intoxication, and disorderly conduct. He is in the Harlan County Detention Center on a $5,000 full cash bond.


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