Man arrested for assault of police trooper

Published 12:04 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A man was arrested after an incident Saturday evening in Kenbridge in which he allegedly attempted to set a Virginia State Police trooper’s uniform on fire and punched the trooper in the face.

Joseph W. Johanknecht, 27, of Patrick County, was transported to Piedmont Regional Jail after being charged by the trooper, Virginia State Police Spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in a release.

“At around 10 p.m., Saturday (May 26), Virginia State Police Senior Trooper J.T. McGhee initiated a traffic stop on a 2012 Cadillac that was traveling in the 2000 block of South Hill Road in Kenbridge,” Geller said. “The violation was for speeding – 75 mph in the posted 55 mph zone. The Cadillac pulled over for the trooper and stopped in the parking lot of a convenience store on South Hill Road.”

Geller said during the traffic stop, the driver of the Cadillac, Johanknecht, “became uncooperative and combative towards Senior Trooper McGhee.”

Geller said Johanknecht then tried to set the trooper’s uniform on fire by using a lighter he had in his possession and punched the trooper in the face.
“Senior Trooper McGhee charged Johanknecht with reckless driving, resisting arrest, assault on a police officer, attempted aggravated malicious wounding of a police officer, and possession of marijuana,” Geller said. “Additional charges are pending further investigation and consultation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney.”
Geller noted that Senior Trooper McGhee had minor injuries as a result of the incident.