'He was the devil': Mount Carmel police arrest combative man blocking 11-W

Jeff Bobo • Oct 10, 2019 at 3:47 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — A man who was found by police blocking traffic on Highway 11-W Saturday reportedly injured himself by banging his head on a police car and the jail floor in what Mount Carmel Police Department Chief Ken Lunsford Jr. described as a state of “excited delirium.”

Upon being arrested, Rickey Ray Henry, 37, 1900 American Way, Kingsport, was hospitalized. Although the MCPD hadn’t received his toxicology report as of Wednesday, friends of Henry reportedly told police they believe he had taken heroin laced with fentanyl.

“Family members said he is the kindest, most gentle person, but that night he was the devil,” Lunsford Jr. told the Times News Wednesday. “When officers arrived, he appeared to be in a state of excited delirium. He was probably overdosing, and if we hadn’t gotten to him, he probably would have died.”

Shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday MCPD Officer Kenneth Light and Lt. Ken Lunsford Sr. responded to the area of Highway 11-W near the train overpass where Henry was blocking westbound traffic.

Henry was reportedly yelling, “Do not kill me” and “I'm going to die,” and when officers attempted to restrain him, he allegedly became combative.

With assistance from Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Drain and an unknown citizen, the officers were able to get Henry cuffed and into a police car, where he reportedly began banging his head on the “shield” between the front and back seats, and kicking the door windows.

Lunsford Sr. stated in his report that officers administered a blast of pepper spray, and then a five-second hit with a Taser in an effort to get Henry to stop hurting himself and kicking the windows.

When they arrived at the Hawkins County Jail, Henry reportedly began hitting his head on the door window, causing a laceration over his left eyebrow.

While being restrained on the floor of the jail, Henry reportedly began hitting his head on the concrete floor, further injuring himself, and it took several officers to restrain him.

Henry was transported to Hawkins County Memorial Hospital, where he was sedated by medical staff, then treated for his injuries.

On Tuesday afternoon, Henry was discharged from the hospital and booked into the Hawkins County Jail on charges including assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and public intoxication.

As of Wednesday, Henry remained held in the Hawkins County Jail on $750 bond.

The MCPD is asking that the citizen who assisted in restraining Henry on 11-W contact Lt. Lunsford at (423) 817 2679.