A Van Lear man was indicted on assault charges by a Johnson County grand jury last week following a June arrest during which he allegedly dragged a Kentucky State Police trooper with his vehicle, according to court documents.
Phillip Burgin, 39, of Van Lear, was indicted on charges of third-degree assault (police officer), first-degree fleeing or evading police (motor vehicle), first-offense DUI and second-degree fleeing or evading police (on foot). The first-degree fleeing charge and third-degree assault charge are both class D felonies, meaning that, if convicted, Burgin could face up to 10 years in prison for those charges, if sentenced to serve concurrently.
Burgin was originally arrested June 24 after he allegedly dragged a Kentucky State Police trooper approximately 75 feet along Puncheon Creek Road in Sitka with his vehicle during an escape attempt.
The citation said that KSP Trooper Dustin Thompson had performed a traffic stop on another vehicle and was speaking with the driver of that vehicle when Burgin, approached the scene from the rear in a Nissan passenger car. Thompson told Burgin that the road would be reopened shortly but recognized Burgin as having active warrants, the citation said.
Thompson said he advised Burgin to place the vehicle in park and exit it, to which Burgin responded that he was. However, the trooper wrote, Burgin “began looking to his rear as he placed the vehicle in reverse,” according to the citation.
Thompson then “immediately made entry into the vehicle with (his) torso through the driver’s side window,” grabbing Burgin with one hand and attempting to shut the car off with the other hand, the citation said, but Burgin “immediately accelerated in reverse, spinning the tires as he rapidly fled with (Thompson) hanging out of the window,” according to the citation. Burgin’s vehicle then made contact with a ditch and a hill side on the driver’s side, wedging Thompson between the vehicle and the hill side, the citation said. Thompson, the trooper wrote, was knocked away from the vehicle as it again sped away in reverse before traveling over a “slight embankment.”
According to the citation, Thompson got back on his feet and made his way to the vehicle with his firearm drawn, issuing commands for Burgin to stop. Burgin responded to these commands by exiting the vehicle through the passenger side window and fleeing. Thompson gave chase, the citation said, catching up to Burgin after he fell and discharging his Taser, which Thompson said struck Burgin in the back but had no effect.
Burgin continued to flee, leading to a physical altercation during which both he and Thompson “fell into the water,” until a time at which fellow KSP Trooper Ryan Hale caught up to Burgin and Thompson and helped gain control of Burgin, the citation said.
Thompson noted in the citation that Burgin’s pupils were constricted and that Burgin stated to Thompson that he was “a drug addict and makes bad decisions.”
Both Thompson and Burgin were treated at Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center, and Burgin declined contact with an attorney and refused a blood test, the citation said. Once Burgin was “stitched up,” Thompson transported him to the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, where he was lodged on charges of third-degree assault on a police officer, first-degree fleeing or evading police (motor vehicle), second-degree fleeing or evading police (on foot), second-degree wanton endangerment (police officer), first-offense aggravated DUI and traffic charges.
This arrest comes on the heels of a January arrest during which, according to court documents, Burgin was found to have a minor child in the vehicle with him while intoxicated.