Arrest of Armed Robbery Suspect Earns Officer Award

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Arrest of Armed Robbery Suspect Earns Officer Award

Posted: 07/14/2009
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen named Officer Joey Mattina the April Officer of the Month. Officer Mattina has been with the Knoxville Police Department since January 1997.

On April 5, 2009, at approximately 11:50 p.m., Officer Mattina responded with several officers to a report of an armed robbery at the Weigel's located at 1700 Merchants Drive. The first officer on the scene was able to provide to responding officers the description of the suspects and their direction of travel. The vehicle was described as an older model silver-colored vehicle.

Officer Mattina initiated a traffic stop on a 1979 silver Cadillac as it fled east bound on Western Avenue. Upon his approach to the vehicle, Officer Mattina quickly determined that these three individuals were possibly the suspects from the robbery.

Chief Owen said, "The driver and front seat passenger stated they did not have identification and the passenger in the rear of the vehicle began digging into his pockets, which alerted Officer Mattina to immediately take cover and wait for backup."

Once backup arrived, Officer Mattina and the other officers safely removed the occupants from their vehicle. During the search of the vehicle, the officers discovered several articles of clothing matching the witness descriptions of the suspects. The officers also located masks and a fake handgun in the rear seat of the vehicle.

The two adult suspects and the one juvenile suspect were charged with one count each of Aggravated Robbery.

Chief Owen said, "Because of Officer Mattina's actions, these three suspects were charged with a felony and removed from our streets."

Mayor Haslam said, "We appreciate the actions of Officer Mattina in helping to make our community safer. Congratulations on a job well done."

Suspects Arrested:

Jerel Mathis, DOB 12-06-83, 1 Count of Aggravated Robbery
Willie Soles, DOB 09-08-90, 1 Count of Aggravated Robbery
17 year old male juvenile, 1 Count of Armed Robbery

Click here to view a listing of previous KPD award winners.