Watauga man charged with brandishing knife, taking cash from Stateline Market

Published 10:18 am Monday, February 23, 2015

Star Photo/Brandon Hicks Stateline Market, on Highway 19E, was robbed early Thursday morning. Police quickly arrested a Watauga man in connection with the robbery.

Star Photo/Brandon Hicks
Stateline Market, on Highway 19E, was robbed early Thursday morning. Police quickly arrested a Watauga man in connection with the robbery.

Brian Kimbrel

Brian Kimbrel

A Watauga man faces multiple charges after police say he robbed a store while brandishing a knife Thursday morning.

City police arrested Brian Keith Kimbrel, 34, of 300 Fourth St., Watauga, and charged him with aggravated robbery, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and simple possession of Schedule VI drugs. He was served also with an outstanding warrant charging him with violation of probation.

Around 8 a.m. Thursday, officers of the Elizabethton Police Department responded to a report of an armed robbery at Stateline Market, 1876 Highway 19E, Elizabethton. The person who called 911 said a man entered the store, brandished a knife and threatened a store employee before taking an undetermined amount of money and lottery tickets and fleeing. The caller provided dispatchers with a description of the man and the vehicle he was driving.

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“Multiple officers responded to the surrounding area and began attempts to locate the suspect,” EPD Capt. Joy Shoun said. “Shortly after the initial 911 call, an officer located a vehicle matching the description provided by store personnel parked at the Lynnridge Apartment Complex on Bluefield Avenue.”

The officer saw a man matching the description of the suspect walking toward the C/D Building of Lynnridge Apartments, but he lost sight of him. Other officers then responded to help secure and search the area.

“A witness reported to officers that the subject was seen leaving the area on foot, walking down a path through a wooded area which leads to adjacent apartment buildings,” Shoun said.

While searching the area, officers saw a car backing from a parking lot of a nearby apartment so they stopped it to see if the driver or passenger had seen the suspect. When the car stopped, officers saw a man in the back seat who matched the description of the suspect.

Officers asked the man to get out of the vehicle but he was uncooperative and began resisting, Shoun said.

“With the use of a Taser, officers were able to safely apprehend the suspect, who was later identified as Brian Kimbrel,” Shoun said.

Investigators interviewed the driver and other passenger of the vehicle, who said Kimbrel walked up to them as they were leaving and asked for a ride, giving the driver a $20 bill as payment for gas.

“They were not acquainted with (Kimbrel) but agreed to give him a ride to a nearby location, believing that he may be homeless,” Shoun said.

While speaking with police, Kimbrel admitted to being at the market earlier in the day, but refused to answer any additional questions, Shoun said, adding Kimbrel made several statements that implicated him in robbery.

When officers searched Kimbrel, they found cash in denominations of $20, $10 and $5 bills, lottery tickets, and a lock blade folding knife, Shoun said. Officers also located a small plastic baggie in Kimbrel’s pocket containing what is believed to be marijuana.

Police were able to apprehend Kimbrel so quick after the robbery because officers were quick to respond and were able to “flood the area” with officers, Shoun said.

“It was just good police work and diligence on the part of the officers to be aware of their surroundings, she said.

No one was injured during the robbery, Shoun said, adding there was more than one employee working in the store when the robbery happened.

Because Kimbrel is alleged to have brandished a knife during the robbery, Shoun said that led to the charge being filed as aggravated robbery. Under state law if a weapon is used it become a more serious offense, she said.

“If he had harmed or injured anyone that would have been a completely separate charge, but no one was injured,” she said.

Kimbrel is currently being held in the Carter County Detention Center on a total bond of $25,500. He is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on April 27 but will be arraigned before that court appearance.