Whitesburg KY

Man used copperheads as weapon, officers say

A Letcher County man was charged with terroristic threatening early Saturday morning after he threatened police with two copperhead snakes.

Letcher County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Damron said Christopher Whitaker, 29, of 251 Caudill Town Road, in Whitesburg, would not come out of his residence around 3:30 a.m. on July 12 after Whitesburg Police Officer Justin Gayheart responded to Whitaker’s residence after police had received a complaint call.

Damron said that when he arrived at Whitaker’s residence he could see Whitaker through a window.

"He appeared to be passed out. After a couple of minutes he woke up, saw us, and began yelling and screaming," said Damron.

Damron said Whitaker then barricaded himself inside the residence and threatened the police officers with the two copperhead snakes he was holding.

"He said he was going to come outside and throw the snakes on us," said Damron.

Once Whitaker’s mother arrived with a key, Damron said he unlocked the door and Whitaker moved items away from the door and came outside.

Damron said Whitaker was then sprayed with Oleoresin Capsicum, a type of pepper spray, "due to his actions and threats and (because) he wouldn’t show his hands."

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