PADDLE CREEK – A man is behind bars after police responded to a call reporting that someone was trying to get juveniles to get into a van.
On Sunday, June 20, Magoffin County Sheriff Department Deputy J. Osborne received a call of a maroon van driving slowly on Paddle Creek and reportedly trying to get juvenile subjects to get into the van with him.
Police located the van on Gifford Road and observed the passenger not wearing a seatbelt, so Osborne made a traffic stop.
When Deputy Osborne approached the vehicle he asked for the driver’s identification and reportedly asked him what was going on with the juvenile subjects.
The driver, identified as Tom Edward Puckett, 70, of Johnson Fork, in Salyersville, told police nothing was going on and that he had “just stopped to be friendly and asked the juveniles if they could slam dunk the basketball,” according to the police citation.
Puckett reportedly became very irate and started screaming profanities, leading to police asking him to calm down, which he complied for a short period of time, according to the police report.
As Osborne returned to his vehicle to run the driver’s information, Puckett exited the vehicle.
Police ordered him to get back in his vehicle multiple times, but Puckett reportedly responded with expletives and indicated he didn’t believe he had to comply to the officer’s orders.
He was told to turn around and put his hands behind his back, and that he was under arrest for disorderly conduct. Osborne was able to get one cuff on Puckett when he turned around and said he wasn’t going to jail. At that point he reportedly became very confrontational toward police, taking “an aggressive stance.” Osborne got the other cuff on Puckett and placed him into custody, with police noting that during the struggle Puckett did receive a skin tear on his wrist, according to the arrest citation.
Puckett was placed in the police cruiser and taken to the Magoffin County Sheriff Department, where Lifeguard Ambulance Service came and assessed his injuries. Puckett refused to be transported to the hospital, so he was taken to the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, where he remains at press time.
Currently, Puckett is charged with second-degree disorderly conduct, menacing and resisting arrest, though the incident involving the juveniles remains under investigation by the sheriff department.
A pretrial hearing in the case is scheduled for June 28 at 10 a.m. at the Magoffin County Justice Center.
In a social media post made on Monday, the family that had reported the van posted that Puckett, along with at least two other males in the van, had stopped and tried talking to two juvenile females and when they didn’t respond, the driver told them they were “just out driving.” They were told to leave, and when two men in the family came out of the house, “they asked if they could buy those girls.” When the men came off the porch toward them, the van sped away, according to the family’s report.
The SI will report any changes in the case as that information is made available.
Editor’s Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.