Commonwealth Journal


September 26, 2012

Police nail suspect in hammer attack

Arrest of Herbie Dugger ends manhunt

Somerset — A Somerset man who allegedly attacked two victims on Monday with a hammer and then fled on foot from the scene was arrested by law enforcement officials.

Herbert “Herbie” Dugger, Jr., 34, was arrested early Wednesday morning, putting to an end a more than 24-hour search for the suspect.

The Somerset Police Department responded to a report of an apparent assault early Monday evening that took place at a residence on Crane Street.

Once officers arrived on the scene, they discovered Kristen McWain, age 38, and a male juvenile

suffering from wounds sustained during the alleged assault.  

Lt. Shannon Smith, with SPD, said McWain suffered from a laceration to the head in the attack.

Smith said the male juvenile “was actually able to fight back in protection of McWain,” which caused the suspect to then attack the juvenile.

Smith said both victims told officers the suspect, identified as Dugger, had attacked them with a hammer, and Smith said McWain’s injuries were consistent with their statements. Smith said the juvenile, a teenager, suffered some abrasions from the hammer and from the perpetrator’s fists.

Dugger, who Smith said appears to be McWain’s boyfriend, allegedly fled the scene on foot after the apparent assault.

Officers searched several areas in an attempt to locate Dugger, but he was not found.

McWain and the juvenile were treated at the scene and transported to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital by Somerset-Pulaski County EMS. They were later released from the hospital.

Smith said Dugger checked into the emergency room at LCRH later Monday night for an unknown medical problem, and he was admitted into the hospital’s intensive care unit.

“At about 8:45 a.m. (Tuesday), officers received a 911 call from hospital staff

saying Dugger was attempting to flee, but when officers arrived Dugger had already

managed to get away,” Smith stated in a press release.

A traffic stop conducted by SPD Officer Billy Bolin at around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday led to Dugger’s arrest.

Bolin stopped an SUV on Hillview Avenue in Somerset after he noticed it was being operated in an apparently suspicious manner.

Dugger, who had been considered armed and dangerous by SPD, allegedly fled from the SUV and was later found hiding under a semi-trailer on the Southern Belle Dairy lot off of Bourne Avenue.

Dugger was located with the help of Officer Joe Criswell and the K9 unit Aras, Smith said.

Dugger was arrested after an alleged struggle with the officers on the scene, and officers reportedly found items in the SUV that were used in manufacturing methamphetamine.

Smith said the officers did not find a gun in the SUV or on Dugger, but he did say Dugger “put up a little bit of a fight when officers tried to arrest him.”

Dugger was lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center and charged with second-degree assault, manufacturing methamphetamine, and resisting arrest.

Officers also charged Dugger with being in violation of a city ordinance against prowling.

Additional charges are expected and the investigation continues by Officer Randall Smith.

Dugger appears to have a history of violence. He was convicted in 1995, at age 17, of manslaughter in the death of Joe Franklin Bryant, 36, who was shot and killed.

That history, along with pieces of information officers received that indicated Dugger may have had a weapon on him, ensured that officers used the utmost caution in searching for the suspect.

“It’s not uncommon for law enforcement to hear that (the suspect may be armed and dangerous) on someone wanted for a violent crime, and it doesn’t always turn out that way,” Smith said. “But we always use extreme caution in this situation to make sure no one gets hurt.”

Smith said the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department has assisted in the case.


Text Only
Local News
Local Sports

From left Southwestern’s Catie Odom and Brandi Ridner, and Pulaski’s Allie Stevens and Allison Kerns compete in the girls’ 800-meter relay event in the 38th annual Joan Spurlock Lake Cumberland Classic.

  • Maranda Mills, Austin Hyden win meet MVP’s

    The weather on Saturday was perfect for the 38th annual Joan Spurlock Lake Cumberland Classic at Somerset High School’s Joan Spurlock Track Complex.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Top Players Justin Edwards, Virginia Scott named County Basketball Players of the Year

    The 2013-’14 high school basketball season was one that saw both Southwestern hoops teams advance all the way to the regional semi finals, while the PC boys won a fifth consecutive district tournament, and the Somerset Lady Jumpers earned a berth in a regional tourney for the second year in a row.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bigelow Lady Jumpers hold off Pulaski

    It’s been a rough few days for first-year head coach Brad Gover and the Pulaski County Lady Maroon softball team.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

Cory Paints.jpg

The work of Cory Bond, a Rockcastle County native who takes painting classes at Somerset Community College (SCC) will be on display through the month of April as part of an exhibit called “Cory’s World.”

  • Autistic man expresses himself through art

    Take a walk down the main hallway of the Stoner Building on the campus of Somerset Community College starting in April, and you might think you’re surrounded by a gorgeous array of storyboards for Disney Pixar films: Brightly colored animals romping about in lavish jungle scenes, the kind of thing likely to bring a smile to any child’s face.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • DOWNTOWN FOTO.jpg Memories of how things used to be in 1960s Somerset

    An old photograph of shoppers in downtown Somerset revived sweet memories of how things used to be. Best we can tell by car models, the photograph was made about 1962.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briston and mom Becca.jpg American Idol hopeful has local connection

    If you’ve been following the journey of this year’s crop of “American Idol” contestants, you’re probably familiar with the name Briston Maroney.
    But did you know that the talented young vocalist has a local connection?
    A resident of Knoxville, Tenn., Maroney was featured in the Salt Lake City, Utah, auditions, which aired on January 29.

    February 8, 2014 1 Photo

News Live
Pulaski-Southwestern basketball doubleheader

Check out more action photos at

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide