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Officer stuck by needle during drug arrests

Becky Campbell • Jul 25, 2012 at 9:54 PM

A Washington County sheriff’s investigator was stuck by a hypodermic needle while checking a suspect during a meth lab investigation, according to a news release from Sheriff Ed Graybeal.

The incident happened at 1387 Highway 107, Chuckey, when officers were checking a suspected meth lab behind that residence. An investigator conducted a “pat down search” of Robert C. Bennett, 34, of that address, when the needle stick happened.

During the arrest process, Bennett broke free and ran a short distance until officers caught up with him and put handcuffs on him.

According to the news release, officers had to deploy a Taser to help in capturing Bennett. As Bennett was being taken into custody a second officer had a close call and was nearly stuck by another needle in Bennett’s possession.

Officers found a total of five hypodermic needles on Bennett, including the two that were uncapped.

He’s charged with violation of probation, two counts of reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, evading arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Two others were also arrested at the scene.

David R. Manzi, 30, 1015 House Road, Greeneville, was arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant from Alabama and Keira A. Silvers, 20, 112 Robert Smith Road, Erwin, was arrested on charges of possession of a prohibited weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officers discovered a switchblade knife in Silvers’ back pocket and a hypodermic needle in her bra.

On the property officers located a bag that contained items used to manufacture methamphetamine. Those items included disassembled lithium batteries, several flammable solvents and pseudoephedrine tablets.

Graybeal said the Drug Enforcement Administration assisted in the arrests.

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