By John L. Ross, Staff Writer
A man facing several charges after allegedly attempting to run down officers during a roadblock was scheduled for a competency hearing Monday in Knox County Circuit Court.
However, that hearing has been rescheduled for May 1.
Johnny Smith, 24, was indicted in September for first-degree fleeing or evading, five counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, attempted murder, first-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, menacing, operating on a suspended license, driving under the influence and second-degree persistent felony offender.
According to the Barbourville Police Department, early in the morning of July 21, Smith allegedly first tried to hit two city police officers who were at a safety checkpoint near the Knox County Courthouse. Police said the officers had to jump away from the road to avoid being struck.
Smith is then alleged to have driven toward another police officer, who had his back turned as he questioned another violator.
Police said they fired shots to try and keep the third officer from being struck.
Officers said Smith led police on a chase that lasted for miles out of the city and down a side road. Police used a special tactical maneuver to force Smith to stop.
Smith was taken to Knox County Hospital for observation. When it was determined he didn’t need medical treatment, he was taken to the Knox County Jail.
Assisting were Chief Mike Broughton, Detective Brian Senters, patrolmen Jake Knuckles and Clay Helton. The Knox County Sheriff’s Department also assisted.