Man indicted for stealing car, fleeing police

A Knox County man has been indicted on theft by unlawful taking, fleeing or evading police, wanton endangerment charges, among others, after police say he stole a vehicle and failed to stop for a patrolman, driving nearly 50 miles per hour over the speed limit in the process.

A Knox County Grand Jury returned the indictment February 23, charging Harlan Edward Smith, 35, of Hinkle, with theft by unlawful taking of the value $10,000 or more, first-degree fleeing or evading the police, first-degree wanton endangerment, driving a motor vehicle while license is revoked or suspended, resisting arrest, speeding and failure to illuminate head lamps.

Police say on or about February 2, Smith knowingly and unlawfully took a 2016 Jeep Patriot, valued $10,000 or more, owned by Ashley Lefevers. Smith then failed to obey signals by Barbourville Patrolman Jake Knuckles to stop the vehicle.

The indictment continues, saying Smith operated the vehicle at a high rate of speed, driving nearly 100 MPH in a 55 MPH zone, and in a manner which created a danger of death or serious physical injury to Patrolman Knuckles.

The Grand Jury also returned the following indictments:

Curtis Ray Riley, 46, two counts of criminal mischief in the first degree; one count of theft by unlawful taking of the value of $10,000 or more; one count of leaving the scene of an accident; one count of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants, second offense.

Jonathan T. Bargo, 19, one count of theft by unlawful taking of the value of $500 or more but less than $10,000; one count of obscuring the identity of a machine of the value of $500 or more but less than $10,000; two counts of criminal mischief in the third degree.

Antonio Perez Lopez, 38, one count of assault in the first degree; one count of leaving the scene of an accident; one count of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants, third offense.

Tommy Len Hubbard, 47, one count of possession of a controlled substance in the first degree.