Police nab 2 wanted for theft at Harlan motel

Last updated: March 25. 2014 5:26PM - 6770 Views
By Jeff Phillips jphillips@civitasmedia.com

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A Coxton man has been charged with second-degree criminal abuse after police said he injured two children while assaulting his wife.

According to an arrest citation filed by Harlan County Sheriff Deputy Britt Lipfird, Joseph Owens, 25, 123 Coxton Loop, Harlan, was arrested at 4:52 p.m. on Monday and lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center for an alleged incident which occurred on Friday.

The arrest warrant obtained by Lipfird said Owens “wantonly placed his two children in a situation that may have caused serious physical injury when he was assaulting his wife and their children were hit during the assault.”

The warrant stated the children “had bruising on their body” and were taken to Harlan ARH Hospital to be examined.

He was being held in lieu of a $25,000 full cash bond at the Harlan County Detention Center.

Second-degree criminal abuse of a child under 12 is a Class D felony.

In another arrest report, Middlesboro City Police arrested two people wanted in connection with the theft of numerous items from Mount Aire Motel in Harlan in early December.

According to the initial report from Harlan City Police, Crystal Barrett, 37, also known as Crystal Craig, of Pathfork, and John Rutherford, 43, were sought for theft after they checked out of the Harlan motel and “literally almost took the motel room with them.”

HPD Chief Mike Thomas said at that time Cpl. Jeff Owens was heading the investigation and said the suspects were also wanted by police in the Middlesboro area as well.

Thomas said previously that Rutherford had been arrested across the state on numerous charges.

The suspects checked into Mount Aire Motel on Dec. 4. When they left, they took many items including blankets, sheets, garbage cans, mattress pads, pillows, towels, coffee maker and other items, according to the initial report.

Thomas said the suspects were caught on security cameras leaving with the items.

Other Harlan merchants were also reviewing video footage to see if the duo had struck their businesses as well, Thomas said.

The Middlesboro Police Department had been searching for them for alleged thefts that occurred at Walmart.

According to the citation issued by Middlesboro Officer Josh Burchett, Barrett was charged on a bench warrant for failure to appear for court on Dec. 17, a complaint warrant for the theft by unlawful taking at the motel.

They were arrested by Burchett during a traffic stop near KFC in Middlesboro.

Rutherford was charged with a bench warrant for failure to appear in court on Feb. 10, a complaint warrant for theft by unlawful taking under $500 for the motel theft, and for giving officers a false name during a traffic stop. He was being held without bond.

They were both lodged in the Bell County Detention Center.

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