Chase culprit charged with attempted burglary

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Man showed gun to bank employee, demanded money

By Calen McKinney

A Tennessee man who led police on a chase last Tuesday afternoon could soon be charged with attempted robbery.

And as of Friday morning, the man, Eugene Earl Gentry, 62, of 159 Swindle Road in Lafayette, Tenn., is still in critical but stable condition in the ICU unit at a Lexington hospital after the chase he lead police on ended when he crashed his vehicle.

A Campbellsville Police news release states that at about 3:10 p.m., employees at Citizens Bank and Trust Co. called and reported Gentry was acting suspiciously while inside their business.

The release states that bank employees said Gentry entered the bank and spoke briefly with an employee.

Campbellsville Police Chief Tim Hazlette said Wednesday morning that the situation wasn't reported as a robbery, only as a suspicious person. However, the release states, an investigation into the incident has revealed that Gentry did attempt to get money from the bank.

According to statements from bank employees and a review of the surveillance footage at the bank, Gentry entered the bank at about 2:40 p.m. and asked to speak with a loan officer. Gentry waited until the officer was available, the report states, and then met with that employee.

During the conversation, Gentry asked for a sum of money. He reportedly opened his coat to reveal to the employee that he had a handgun in his waistband.

"After further conversation, Gentry stated this was a "hold up," the report states.

The bank employee denied Gentry's request, stating there wasn't a significant amount of money at the bank. The report states that Gentry then opened his coat a second time, revealing the handgun, and said he would be back. Gentry exited the bank at about 3:10 p.m. Bank employees called police after Gentry left.

After Gentry fled the scene, the report states, Campbellsville Police Officer Scotty Perian saw a vehicle matching the description bank employees gave to police as the one Gentry was driving.

Perian initiated a traffic stop at the intersection of KY 210 and KY 55, though before he approached the vehicle, Gentry accelerated and led Perian on a chase south on KY 55.

Hazlette said Perian noticed Gentry was moving inside his vehicle and was very cautious when approaching the vehicle. Before Perian got to the driver side of the vehicle, Gentry sped away.

Additional officers helped in the attempt to stop Gentry's vehicle, as did Taylor County Sheriff's deputies and Kentucky State Police officers.

Gentry eventually drove off KY 55, nine miles south of where the chase began and near the Adair County line, and struck a parked vehicle.

Gentry was injured after striking the vehicle and was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center for treatment. Hazlette said it appears Gentry purposely drove off the roadway.

The report states that the case against Gentry will likely be presented to the Taylor County grand jury at its next session, which is scheduled for tomorrow. The incident remains under investigation.

Officers will ask grand jurors to charge Gentry with first-degree fleeing and evading police and first-degree attempted robbery, the report states. Other charges could be forthcoming.

Campbellsville Police Captain Patricia Thompson and Officer Ben Riggs are investigating the incident at the bank and Taylor County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Dicken is investigating the crash.