PIONEER, TN (WLAF) – Traveling 15 miles an hour over the speed limit while passing a parked deputy on radar speed patrol is generally a recipe for regret. A woman coming south out of Kentucky behind the wheel of a silver KIA Sportage was stopped by Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Preston Mullins for speeding on May 5 on I-75 around the 144 mile marker, the Stinking Creek Exit.
The vehicle was traveling approximately 80 mph in the 65 mph zone. When Mullins stopped the vehicle and approached it, the occupants began pointing to the back seat and asking Mullins to open the back door. When he opened the back door, he made contact with a male who was acting very excited, and the male told Mullins that he was in pain with his arm and began to get out of the Kia and told Mullins to call for an ambulance, according to a report from the sheriff’s department.
Mullins contacted 911 and requested EMS, and then the man told Mullins he was going to jump out of the vehicle and take off running. Mullins was able to see that the man’s eyes were red in color and glossy. He also noticed that he was allegedly sitting on a large container of what appeared to be alcoholic beverages. Mullins asked the man, identified as Delbert Cox, if he had consumed any of the beverages, and he reported that he had a lot to drink.
The deputy attempted to speak with the driver identified as April Bowman. However, he was unable to do so due to Cox’s behaviors. The deputy noticed there were two other occupants in the SUV that were juveniles. Mullins was finally able to get the driver’s license from the driver and run a status check on her. While waiting for EMS to arrive, Mullins saw the back seat passenger door open, and Cox began to get out of the vehicle. Mullins went back to the Kia and told Cox to stay in the vehicle. Cox then began allegedly stating he needed medical attention quickly to which Mullins reassured him that an ambulance was in enroute.
Mullins went back to his patrol car and requested for officer back-up. While he was waiting for back up, he spoke with Cox again to check on his condition. Cox asked Mullins to put him in his patrol car, and take him to the hospital, Mullins told him that he could not do that. Cox then stated, “If I have a warrant take me to jail.”
Mullins noticed that Cox had severely slurred speech while stuttering his words, and Cox looked at Mullins and said “I’m going to make you take me to jail, if you do not take me to the hospital.” Mullins asked Cox if any weapons were in the vehicle that he needed to be aware of and Cox advised no.
Caryville Patrolman J.B. Coffey and CCSO Sgt. Justin Phillips arrived to assist with Cox, and Campbell County EMS arrived shortly after. Deputy Mullins opened Cox’s door and asked him to exit the SUV so EMS could treat him. As he exited, Mullins saw a box of .22 caliber ammunition in the seat where Cox had been sitting. Mullins asked again if there were any firearms in the vehicle, and Cox reported no and told Mullins that the box did not contain ammunition, instead it contained drill bits. The deputy turned Cox over to the EMS staff that began speaking with Cox who became irate with them and reported that he was going to make Mullins take him to the hospital. Cox was placed in the ambulance to be assessed.
Mullins was able to speak with the driver of the Kia identified as April Bowman, as well as the juveniles and asked if there were any weapons in the vehicles. All occupants reported no. Mullins asked Bowman for permission to search the vehicle and she consented. Before Mullins asked the juveniles to exit the vehicle, he gave them one more opportunity to say if there was anything illegal in the vehicle. Mullins noticed the back seat passenger was covered with a heavy white blanket, he instructed the juveniles to get out of the vehicle, leaving all their belongings in the vehicle. As the back seat passenger exited, she placed the blanket back over the seat where she was sitting.
As Mullins began to search the vehicle he opened the ammunition box and found a large quantity of .22 caliber ammunition. While Mullins was searching the Kia, the other officers and EMS crew began yelling for him and advised that Cox was becoming combative with EMS. Mullins was able to see Cox through the glass of the EMS truck and saw Cox raising up off the EMS cot and arguing with EMS workers. Mullins opened the door on the EMS truck, and Cox stated that he did not want to wait and wanted to go to the hospital. Mullins attempted to calm Cox and informed him they were all trying to do their jobs.
According to the report, Mullins believed Cox was attempting to divert his attention from the vehicle. However, Mullins continued to search and lifted the blanket on the backseat and allegedly found a silver Jennings .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol loaded with a bullet in the chamber ready to fire. While Mullins was securing the firearm, he noticed that Cox was attempting to exit the EMS truck. Mullins then detained Cox and placed him into the patrol car. He returned to his search and started searching the luggage in the vehicle when Cox began kicking the windows of the patrol car to divert Mullins attention again. Inside one of the suitcases Mullins found a white napkin concealing a glass smoking device with white residue. Also in the napkin was a clear plastic bag containing a crystal rock like substance believed to be Methamphetamine. Bowman advised that Cox had placed the substance in the suitcase.
Mullins was advised by EMS that Cox informed him that he did use Methamphetamine. Mullins spoke with Bowman and noticed that her eyes were dilated, her mouth was dry and her tongue was covered with a white residue believed to be from smoking Methamphetamine. When asked about the residue she reported that her and one of the juveniles had been eating white candy. When the juvenile was asked about the candy, she stated that she nor Bowman had eaten anything in the night. Bowman was asked if she had used any substances or consumed any of the alcohol found, and she denied it. Bowman performed field sobriety testing on which she performed poorly. Bowman was placed under arrest and transported to the Campbell County Jail.
While Mullins was transporting Cox to the jail, he continuously cursed Mullins, threatened Mullins, advised that he would see him someday without a badge and began kicking the window of the patrol car, according to the deputy’s report. When jail staff attempted to remove Cox from the patrol car, he resisted and had to be forcefully removed from the cruiser. Once out of the car, he began kicking jail staff and resisted an escort into the jail.
Cox, 46, 4131 Sinking Creek Rd, London, Ky, was charged with disorderly conduct, possession of a handgun while under the influence, false reports, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, two counts of child abuse and neglect or endangerment, resisting stop frisk halt arrest or search, assault against a first responder and tampering with or fabricating evidence.
Bowman, 45, 4131 Sinking Creek Rd, London, Ky, was charged with driving under the influence (DUI), two counts of child abuse and neglect or endangerment, false reports and possession of handgun while under influence.
The juveniles were released to a family member. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 05/15/2023-6AM)