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West End pursuit leads to three arrests

Staff report

Three men were arrested after a brief vehicle pursuit, a foot chase, an all-night search and a nearly two-hour standoff that began Wednesday evening in Paducah.

Paducah police were called to Walgreens, 521 Lone Oak Road, about 9:45 p.m. after an off-duty Ballard County dispatcher recognized a man known to have outstanding warrants for his arrest. The man, 38-year-old Keith L. Knight of Owensboro, was in a vehicle in the parking lot with two other men, police said.

When the first officer arrived, Knight drove quickly around the building and through the rear parking lot toward Alben Barkley Drive. A second officer obtained the license plate number, and the city of Paducah Emergency Communications Services Department informed the officer that the 2002 Kia had been reported stolen early Wednesday morning from the 5800 block of Carr Road in McCracken County.

Officers tried to stop the Kia, but the driver continued down Alben Barkley Drive to Audubon Drive, where it turned and continued to Buckner Lane, and then to Pines Road. The Kia turned into the Pines subdivision and came to a dead end at the end of Whitney Drive. From there, it proceeded into the woods, traveling more than 100 yards before it hit two trees. All three occupants ran away, police said.

Knight and a passenger, 41-year-old Garry Melton of Paducah, were caught a short distance away, but the third man wasn't found. Officers continued looking for him overnight. Shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday, Officer Daniel Kimball returned to the area of Friedman Lane and Springdale Circle and was talking with a homeowner when he noticed movement in a camper in the back yard of the home, police reported. Officers blocked off the area as Kimball began talking with the third man -- 36-year-old Joshua N. Delk, also of Owensboro -- who was inside the camper, according to police.

"Officer Kimball's persistence led him to search the area again," Capt. Anthony Copeland said. "Once he was able to make contact, he was able to talk (Delk) into coming out without further incident. He never gave up on trying to talk him into peacefully surrendering. And we now know â ¦ that he was armed the entire time Officer Kimball was talking to him."

Detectives found a loaded 9 mm handgun Delk had carried with him inside the camper, police reported.

Knight was arrested on a McCracken County warrant charging him with receiving stolen property (less than $10,000), and on charges of first-degree fleeing or evading police (motor vehicle); second-degree fleeing or evading police (on foot); reckless driving; resisting arrest; disregarding a stop sign; failure to/improper signal; receiving stolen property (less than $10,000) and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

Melton was arrested on charges of second-degree fleeing or evading police, receiving stolen property (less than $10,000) and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

Delk was arrested on warrants charging him with two counts of failure to appear, and on charges of second-degree fleeing or evading police and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

Knight, Melton and Delk were jailed.

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