Williamsburg police say a Whitley County man, who is wanted in connection with a stabbing last Wednesday, should be considered armed and dangerous and are asking for the public’s help in locating him.
Police are searching for Bruce E. Lewis, 61, of 9255 US25W South, Williamsburg, who is wanted for first-degree assault.
A Kentucky State Police Special Response Team (SRT) went to Lewis’ residence Friday afternoon in an unsuccessful attempt to locate Lewis and serve him with the arrest warrant.
“If anybody has any information or sees the individual, don’t approach him just call law enforcement and let us deal with it,” cautioned Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird.
The incident began about 5:52 p.m. last Wednesday when police were dispatched to a “suspicious person” call at Brush Arbor Apartments.
Initial reports indicated that a white male on a black motorcycle, who was wearing a black leather jacket, had been in the area for about two hours and appeared to have been approaching children, Bird said.
While police were on their way to investigate the complaint, they received an updated call indicating there had been an altercation between the man on the motorcycle and a Brush Arbor resident, Bird said.
By the time police arrived, the suspect had already fled the scene.
Bird said that a Brush Arbor resident thought the suspect had broken down on the motorcycle and approached him offering to help.
Bird said that Lewis became extremely irate when the victim approached him and threw a pop can that struck the victim’s girlfriend. Then an altercation ensued.
“The victim ended up getting stabbed in the upper abdomen with what witnesses described as a switch blade knife,” Bird said.
The victim was taken by personal vehicle to Baptist Health Corbin for treatment. He was later transported to the University of Kentucky Medical Center by ambulance due to the single stab wound penetrating the chest wall, Bird said.
“He has been treated and released since then,” Bird added. “He is definitely lucky it wasn’t more serious than it was.”
The victim is expected to make a complete recovery.
Wednesday evening police had few leads other than the suspect was riding a black motorcycle with saddlebags and a windshield. The first two digits on the license tag were 28, according to witnesses.
Positive identification made
“That night we had no idea who it was. The following day, we developed information about who the suspect was,” Bird said. “All the witnesses and the victim made a positive identification on the individual.”
Bird said that police went to Lewis’ residence Thursday evening.
“It is a very short driveway up to his residence. He had logs across the driveway and two iron gates across the driveway that were locked with log chains,” Bird said. “As we pulled up, I made eye contact with him at the top of the hill. I yelled for him and ordered him to come to the gate but he refused to come to the gate.”
Bird said that Lewis is a hoarder with stuff everywhere, which made for a tactical nightmare for any law enforcement officers wanting to enter the premise.
Bird then contacted state police and requested for the SRT team to execute the search warrant.
Williamsburg police and state police SRT members met Thursday evening and developed a plan.
About 11:30 a.m. Friday, Bird said that SRT members started staging at Williamsburg City Hall and at that time put Lewis’ residence under surveillance, including the use of helicopters.
About 2:45 p.m., SRT executed a search warrant at Lewis’ home.
Bird said that it took about three hours to search through all the property, but unfortunately the suspect wasn’t at the residence.
Williamsburg police have put out a Be On the Look Out (BOLO) notice to all the law enforcement agencies in the surrounding area and Tennessee hoping to locate Lewis.
“We are actively looking for him,” Bird said. “On the arrest warrant I did check armed and dangerous due to the fact that he stabbed a guy.”
Public’s help sought
Bird said that police are familiar with Lewis, who is “anti-police,” but all previous interactions police have had with him were for relatively minor offenses.
“He doesn’t like the police and doesn’t like being stopped by the police,” Bird said. “This is kind of why we are using a little extra precaution with him. His behavior at Brush Arbor that day is way out of the norm for this particular individual. We have never had that kind of issue with him before so we don’t know what is going on with him or what sparked him to do what he did. We are taking all the precautions we can.”
Bird said Lewis is a loner, who doesn’t get out much.
“He lives pretty much secluded. The only place that we knew to look for him was at his residence, but we are working on some other leads on where he might be,” Bird said. “If anybody has information call your local law enforcement agency or call us.”
Lewis is approximately 6’3″ and has a slender build. He has dark hair with gray streaks.
Williamsburg police can be reached at 549-6038 or 549-6017.
Williamsburg Deputy Police Chief Jason Caddell said Tuesday morning that there have been no new significant developments in the case since police went to Lewis’ residence Friday.