SRO “terrorized” woman

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KPD Officer Coy Tucker

A veteran Knoxville Police Department officer who became the Student Resource Officer (SRO) at West High School last year is accused of conducting a campaign of terror against his estranged wife, court records show. 

Officer Coy Lee Tucker has been charged with aggravated stalking, a felony, and is currently on administrative leave with pay. His police powers have been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case against him as well as an investigation by KPD’s Internal Affairs Unit, officials said. 

Tucker was first hired by KPD in 2008 and was SRO at West High School during the 2020-21 school year, according to KPD spokesperson Scott Erland. 

He was taken into custody Saturday and booked into the county jail. He was later released pending trial but it’s unclear from court records if he was required to post bond and, if so, how much. 

The officer “conducted a willful course of conduct involving repeated and continuing harassment of the victim that caused the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened and harassed,” according to the arrest warrant on file in Knox County General Sessions Court.

 The alleged incidents occurred between May 28 and August 8 and included several occasions when he confronted her “in both private and public locations,” such as at “her places of work and residence,” according to the warrant.

He also made numerous phone calls and sent her 59 text messages on a single day in July, “including at least 45 after she told him to stop texting her unless it pertained to their children,” the warrant said. A couple of weeks later, he allegedly went to her workplace and “started cussing her and throwing items.”

“The defendant committed these actions while under an injunction that was requested by the defendant when he filed and served his petition for divorce,” the warrant said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Tucker had retained a defense attorney. He couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

Tucker is the fourth KPD officer to be the subject of a high-profile internal affairs investigation this summer. 

The first was Officer Tanner Holt, who found himself in hot water in connection with an incident that transpired June 26 while he was off-duty and attending a wedding reception in downtown Knoxville. 

Holt, who was allegedly drunk at the time, was accused of making a number of racially charged comments to a Black man in a parking lot after the reception. The man then punched Holt, knocking the officer unconscious, according to police reports. 

Sgt. Matt Gentry, commander of KPD’s Honor Guard, was pulled from patrol duties and special teams pending the outcome of an investigation into a complaint that he tossed a package of lit fireworks into a woman’s pickup truck on July 6.

It wasn’t clear how Gentry and the complainant knew each other or what his motive was for allegedly burning the truck. Because of the estimated value of the damaged property, Gentry could face felony charges if prosecutors determine he committed the crime of vandalism.

Last week, Officer Cody Klingmann was placed on administrative leave with pay following a traffic crash that killed a 27-year-old Knoxville woman.

The collision took place about 3 a.m. Friday while KPD officers were responding to a reported business burglary on Kingston Pike. The woman allegedly tried to make a left turn onto Kingston Pike and ended up pulling in front of Klingmann’s cruiser. The crash is being investigated by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. 

CORRECTION: The original version of this story didn’t mention of one of the pending IA cases due to an editing error. We apologize for the mistake.

J.J. Stambaugh can be reached at jjstambaugh@hardknoxwire.com 

Published on August 18, 2021.