A former Kentucky State Police trooper was arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer and fourth-degree assault of his wife and another woman at a Whitesburg bar Saturday night.
Luke Pridemore, 35, of 111 Highwall Dr., Mallie, is charged with fourth-degree assault (domestic violence) with no visible injury, fourth-degree assault with no visible injury, third-degree assault of a police officer, menacing, first-degree disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, second-degree fleeing or evading police on foot (attempt), and first-degree criminal mischief. He was placed in the Letcher County Jail about 12:15 a.m. Sunday, but paid a $5,000 cash bond and was released later in the day.
According to the citation issued in the case, District 2 Constable Austin Johnson, who was working as a Whitesburg Police patrolman at the time, was conducting a “routine walk-through” of Summit City Lounge about midnight when a man approached him and told him another man in a flannel shirt and blue jeans and with short hair had struck a woman in the face.
Bystanders said Pridemore walked straight up to the woman and hit her in the face. The woman was on the deck outside, and Johnson apparently mistook her for his wife, witnesses said. Johnson said in the citation that Pridemore was standing beside his actual wife when he located him in the bar inside.
Johnson said he instructed Pridemore to leave the bar, but Pridemore disregarded his instructions. When Johnson attempted to remove him, the citation says Pridemore struck his own wife and punched Johnson once in the chest, “forcefully pushing me in the chest twice while cursing me.” Johnson said Pridemore also broke his glasses, grabbed his radio and keys and threw them across the street.
“While on the street, Pridemore broke free of me while I was attempting to place him in handcuffs and engaged with a male subject,” Johnson wrote. “I was able to get the two apart and place Pridemore in handcuffs and place him in my cruiser.”
Others outside said they believe the man Pridemore “engaged with” outside was attempting to assist Johnson by grabbing Pridemore.
Pridemore is a former Motor Vehicle Enforcement officer and Kentucky State Police trooper, who is currently under indictment in Knott County on burglary and assault charges.