Arrest of Robbery Suspects Earns Officer Special Award

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Arrest of Robbery Suspects Earns Officer Special Award

Posted: 12/27/2010
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen named Officer Joseph Whitehead the September Officer of the Month for the Knoxville Police Department. Officer Whitehead has been with KPD since September 2009.

While working night shift on September 23, 2010, two convenient stores were robbed on Middlebrook Pike and Oak Ridge Highway. A description of the suspects was BOLO'ed to all officers. Knowing that an open convenient store was located on his patrol beat, Officer Whitehead set up surveillance on the Tazewell Pike business.

Chief Owen said, "After only a few minutes a suspicious vehicle was observed driving slowly in front of the business. Officer Whitehead initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle for a driving infraction. As Officer Whitehead detained the driver for driving without a license, he noticed several boxes of Newport cigarettes in the floorboard along with several Breadbox lighters. These items had been stolen from the earlier robbery."

As the officers removed the two passengers from the vehicle they observed a silver Loricin .380 caliber handgun that had been used in the robberies. All three males were taken into custody for questioning.

Chief Owen said, "Officer Whitehead is commended for recognizing the significance of the BOLO as well as having knowledge of his patrol beat in addition to the surrounding patrol beats. Due to his tenacity and his will to better the community in which he serves, three extremely violent offenders were removed from our streets."

Mayor Haslam said, "This is an outstanding example of the extraordinary work our officers do everyday of the year. We commend Officer Whitehead on a job well done."


Leslie Donegan
DOB: 8-9-83
Knoxville address
Charges: Two counts of Aggravated Robbery

Evan Burris
DOB: 9-13-81
Knoxville Address
Charges: Two counts of Aggravated Robbery, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Driving on a Suspended License

Domique Chandler
DOB: 8-12-92
Knoxville Address
Charges: Two Counts of Aggravated Robbery, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony

Click here to view a listing of previous KPD award winners.