Officer Earns Special Honor

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Officer Earns Special Honor

Posted: 03/30/2005
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen today named Investigator Kathy Pappas as the January Officer of the Month. Investigator Pappas has been with the Knoxville Police Department since January 1994.

Chief Owen said that on January 13, 2005, officers responded to a domestic violence call in which the male suspect had allegedly killed his stepdaughter's two-month old puppy. According to the suspect's wife and stepdaughter, the puppy's killing was another act designed to hurt and intimidate them. Investigator Pappas was assigned to the case.

Approximately five days after the puppy had been killed, Investigator Pappas was at the victim's home conducting a follow-up interview when the suspect, Timothy Sawyer, called several times. During those phone conversations, Sawyer admitted he killed the puppy. The suspect had crushed the puppy's neck by shutting the bathroom door on it. He then poured liquid makeup down the puppy's throat until it suffocated.

Chief Owen said, "Due to Investigator Pappas' efforts, the suspect was charged with Felony Animal Abuse, the first such case pursued in Knox County."

As a result of the thorough investigation, Sawyer pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals and coercion of a witness. Sawyer received a two-year sentence.

Investigator Pappas will receive a signed certificate from the Mayor and Chief along with a free dinner from Ruby Tuesday restaurant.