Father, son arrested for fighting with Leitchfield police trying to clear burning basement containing guns, ammo


A father and son have been charged after fighting with Leitchfield police who were trying to clear them from a fire in a basement containing a large number of weapons and ammunition.

As K105 reported Monday morning, the incident occurred Sunday night at approximately 10:40 when the Leitchfield Police and Fire Departments, Grayson County Emergency Management and EMS responded to a home on Rison Drive on the report of the basement on fire.

Leitchfield police, including Sgt. DJ Newton and Officers Justin Cockerel, Brian Jennings, and Tamara Jupin arrived at the scene in less than two minutes, as Jupin began ushering the residents out of the home, according to the arrest citation.

Newton made his way to the back of the home where Jupin was leading the occupants, two men and a woman, out of the residence. One of the men, 64-year-old Lannie W. Fentress, was carrying a hose, as he told police that lithium batteries had exploded in the basement. Fentress then asked police “about the fire department and he was advised they were on their way,” the citation states.

Fentress and his son, 42-year-old Daron Fentress, then, according to the citation, “attempted to go back into the residence after officers had advised them to move away from the structure due to numerous rounds of ammunition and firearms being inside where the fire was occurring.”

Newton attempted to “usher Lannie away from the entry point to maintain his safety as well as minimize possible injuries due to the munitions,” but he “shoved my arms away and re-entered the structure,” Newton wrote in the citation.

Daron Fentress then moved in front of the entry way to block police from retrieving his father. Cockerel “attempted to grab Daron by the arm,” but the suspect “pushed him away and went further into the residence.”

Cockerel then tased Daron Fentress, bringing him into compliance, as both suspects were told they were under arrest.

Lannie Fentress then told police, according to the citation, “Touch him (Daron) and I’ll f—-ing kill you, you son of a b—h.”

Jennings escorted a handcuffed Daron Fentress away from the home where he was evaluated by EMS personnel, as Newton again told Lannie Fentress that he was under arrest.

Lannie then “drew his fist back with the water hose balled up in his hand,” the citation states, and threw the hose toward Newton who tased the suspect.

As “Lannie backed up grabbing at the probes,” the citation says, Newton made his way toward the suspect when Lannie Fentress “swung at me with a hard empty hand.”

Newton ducked the punched, resulting in Lannie Fentress shoving the sergeant “across the room” where he “landed on a large pile of personal effects.”

Cockerel then struck Lannie Fentress and ordered him to place his hands behind his back, but the citation states that he continued to resist arrest.

Newton, while attempting to assist Cockerel arrest the suspect, used “hard empty handed strikes,” as Grayson County Deputy Thomas Lane tased Lannie Fentress a second time. He was then handcuffed.

Police, the citation says, observed about 10 feet from the location of the altercation a “smoldering electric panel box” and a “burnt Glock handgun box.”

Lannie Fentress, who requested EMS, was transported to Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center  where he was cleared for incarceration. He was lodged in the Grayson County Detention Center where he was charged with third-degree assault of a police officer (a class C felony), five counts of second-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer, menacing, and third-degree terroristic threatening.

Daron Fentress was also transported to Owensboro Health Twin Lakes Medical Center “for injuries and possible smoke inhalation,” before being lodged in the Grayson County Detention Center. He was charged with five counts of second-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer, menacing and resisting arrest.

Neither suspect is currently listed as an inmate.

Newton and Cockerel were treated at the emergency room for injuries sustained during the altercation, as well as smoke inhalation, and released.

In a freak accident, an EMS worker suffered a concussion while loading a patient into the back of an ambulance.

The fire, Fire Chief Tim Duvall said, was contained to the basement. The rest of the home suffered “minor smoke damage.”

The incident remains under investigation by the Leitchfield Police Department.

By Ken Howlett, News Director

Contact Ken at ken@k105.com

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