By Rob McDaniel
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Laurel County Sheriff’s deputies and detectives have determined the identity of the man wanted in connection of an assault that occurred on Monday, Oct. 14.
Harold Gaines, 29, of Laurel County is wanted for the assault of a London woman who chased him after she spotted a suspicious vehicle in the back of her mother’s home.
The assault occurred near Feltner Steer Road at approximately 12:30 p.m. after Gwen Watts, a single mother living on Feltner Steer Road, saw Gaines trying to break into her property.
“I heard something coming from the direction of my mother’s driveway,” Watts said. “I saw a truck parked up there with a load of scrap metal in the back. When he saw me, he jumped back in his truck and tried to drive off.”
In a split second, Watts decided she had to do something and began to pursue the would-be thief. Watts jumped in her car and started to follow him.
During the chase, Watts said the suspect tried several times to run her off the road and would periodically slam on his breaks in an attempt to cause a rear-end collision.
The chase, which Watts recorded on a camera, went on for several miles and ended when the suspect stopped his vehicle, approached Watts’ vehicle and began to assault her.
“It (the assault) probably only lasted a minute,” Watts said. “I was down on the ground. He ran off before I could get back up or I would have went after him again.”
Watts, who was struck several times, was left with a bruised left eye and several scratches.
“I wasn’t really thinking about anything except protecting my family and our property,” Watts said. “I didn’t even take the time to put shoes on, I just jumped in my car and went after him.”
Using Watt’s pictures of the truck, the man and the license plate tag, local law enforcement were able to identify the suspect. A location was searched near Knox and Whitley counties early Friday afternoon, but Gaines was not found.
Gaines also has outstanding warrants from other unrelated cases. He is considered to be dangerous.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office at 606-864-6600, or 606-878-7000. Callers can remain anonymous.