Pastor Mark Birchfield
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Landerman

Johnson City, TN

#1 May 13, 2012
Pastor Mark Birchfield of Roan Mountain TN..ERWIN — Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said the outcome of arrest could have been much worse for a Roan Mountain man taken into custody earlier this week after he allegedly picked the wrong group of hikers to attempt to take hostage.

Marcus F. Birchfield, 40, 962 Hampton Creek Road, Roan Mountain, was arrested by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department and charged with four counts of aggravated kidnapping, impersonating a police officer, going armed, possession of a schedule II drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.

It was a little before midnight Monday when Hensley said Unicoi County 911 received a call stating an individual was holding several hikers hostage at the Beauty Spot lookout on Unaka Mountain. Hensley, who took the call, said the caller stated the man had approached the group of five hikers with a handgun drawn, told them that he was a game warden, and ordered them to get down on their hands and knees. The 911 call, Hensley said, came from one of the hikers allegedly being taken hostage.

Hensley said he immediately notified UCSD Chief Deputy Frank Rogers and U.S. Forest Service Agent Kim Coleman of the situation. An officer was dispatched to the Red Fork Falls entrance, which is the entrance to the Beauty Spot lookout in the Limestone Cove area, to seal off the road there. Hensley said he then “raced” to the top of Indian Grave Gap, which is at the North Carolina border up Rock Creek Road, to block the road there and await the arrival of other officers.

As officers ascended the mountain and headed to the scene, Hensley said another 911 came in. In this one, the caller advised that the hikers, two of whom were U.S. Coast Guard officers, had gotten the opportunity to get Birchfield’s gun away from him and subdue him, Hensley said.

Hensley said the hikers had already hogtied Birchfield with parachute rope by the time officers arrived at the scene.

“So when they got the chance, they sucker punched him, knocked him down, and were able to subdue him and tied him up,” Hensley said.

Unicoi County officials took Birchfield into custody early Tuesday morning. Hensley said Birchfield had the “strong odor of intoxicant about his person” when officers arrived at the scene. He was found also to be in possession of a bottle containing oxycodone and a sniffing straw, according to the arrest report. Hensley also said the 9 mm handgun in Birchfield’s possession was fully loaded.

Hensley said the Coast Guard officers were aware Birchfield was not a law enforcement official as he possessed no credentials. He also said the group of hikers all gave the same account of the incident.

“They all gave the same story that he came down in a truck, got out waving a handgun, told them that he was a game warden, and for them to get down on their hands and knees,” Hensley said.“He actually searched them, he asked them if they were partying, if they had drugs. He was wanting to party and have some drugs.”

Other than a couple of minor traffic violations, Hensley said Birchfield had no prior criminal record. According to the arrest report, Birchfield admitted pointing a gun at the campers and identifying himself as a game warden.

“He’s very lucky that one of the hikers didn’t kill him, and if we had pulled up there on the scene and he would have been holding all these guys at gunpoint, we could have been forced to have to do something,” Hensley said.“But luckily it all worked out. It was a good ending. Nobody got hurt.”

Birchfield was arraigned Wednesday in Unicoi County Sessions Court and was released from jail after posting a $75,000 corporate bond. He is scheduled to again appear in Sessions Court next Thursday.

Read more: http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/News/article....
old news

Mountain City, TN

#2 May 13, 2012
If you think you let the "cat out of the bag" you are many days to late! PRAYERS are needed for him and his family. Shame on you for trying to get a bunch of crap started!
Browsing

Linville, NC

#3 May 13, 2012
That's not starting anything. It's just news.
wondering

Johnson City, TN

#4 May 13, 2012
No "browsing" u r trying to start something and SHAME ON YOU!!!! People like u r pathetic!!!!!! Mark is someone's husband,father and son and they are hurting and don't need your crap!!!
backwoods

Elizabethton, TN

#5 May 13, 2012
Mark just needs some help & prayers.known him all my life maybe all he had been though was just too much PLEASE dont start running him down on here.
Dippylongdong

Johnson City, TN

#7 May 13, 2012
This thread is news period! He did it and it's news there is no if and or buts.
JACKWAGONS ELIZ TN

Jonesborough, TN

#8 May 13, 2012
I THINK WE SHOULD JUST PRAY FOR HIM AND HIS HURTING FAMILY RIGHT NOW. PURE PRESSURE AND PAIN IS WHAT THEY ARE FEELING RIGHT NOW. NO ONE KNOWS WHY THIS HAPPENS BUT IT COULD HAPPEN TO ANY OF US GIVE THE DEVIL AN INCH AND HE THINKS HE IS AN RULER! PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! BECAUSE THERE WILL COME A DAY WHEN YOU WILL NEED PRAYER ALSO.RAISE UP IN PRAYER NOT RUN DOWN.
Browsing

Linville, NC

#10 May 13, 2012
wondering wrote:
No "browsing" u r trying to start something and SHAME ON YOU!!!! People like u r pathetic!!!!!! Mark is someone's husband,father and son and they are hurting and don't need your crap!!!
Easy now. I am just reading. How is that starting something. I heard this 2 days ago. I have nothing to say on the subject. And it is news. It's in the paper. Hell, I heard it on the radio.
wondering

Johnson City, TN

#11 May 14, 2012
So "browsing " why the need to post it on here If it was on the radio and the newspaper? So yes I do believe you did want to start something.
landermom

Delaware, OH

#13 May 14, 2012
This thread needs to be removed. He has children and a wife I hope he can get his life together.
final authority

Round Lake, IL

#15 May 14, 2012
Why can't we suppress our need to gossip? Mark answers to God and the law, not anyone else. All this forum does is pour salt into wounds. We all already know what he did was terrible, but you got to remember this man was electrocuted and almost died 3 years ago. No one but him knew how much pain he was in and anyone can get hooked. Preachers are people too. I just hate to see any more pain come to his wife and kids because of this website.
Browsing

Durham, NC

#16 May 14, 2012
wondering wrote:
So "browsing " why the need to post it on here If it was on the radio and the newspaper? So yes I do believe you did want to start something.
I didn't post it! You are nuts.
churchlady

Dallas, TX

#17 May 14, 2012
It's news so this thread will stay!
Seriously

Morganton, NC

#18 May 14, 2012
You people honestly THINK his behavior is OK because he had a near death experience and he is a preacher? If anything he should be trying to live better and thanking the Lord for a second chance at life. I don't think his behavior is OK no matter what the circumstances! If he is really that mentally unstable he should be in a nut house! If he is addicted and abusing drugs then he needs to be in rehab! He does need prayers but he is also no better than anyone else and it doesn't make it OK just because he is a preacher!
final authority

Round Lake, IL

#19 May 14, 2012
Nobody said his behaviour is ok. Its just not anyone's place to get on the internet and talk about it. It just causes innocent family members more grief. What he did was wrong, but you gossiping about it is wrong too.
Seriously

Morganton, NC

#20 May 14, 2012
final authority wrote:
Nobody said his behaviour is ok. Its just not anyone's place to get on the internet and talk about it. It just causes innocent family members more grief. What he did was wrong, but you gossiping about it is wrong too.
I didn't say what I was doing wasn't wrong but I'm not going to church every Sunday and preaching the word of God then living like a criminal through the week.
whatever

Newland, NC

#21 May 14, 2012
Does anyone know where he is? He left and ran! That is more actions of a guilty man than actions of one who doesn't know what he is doing.
churchlady

Dallas, TX

#22 May 14, 2012
If it were somebody you didn't know it would be a sin but since you know him its ok.
saddened

Round Lake, IL

#23 May 14, 2012
I feel bad for Burbank Church. A lot of young people go there. I hope this doesn't damage the reputation of the church.

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#26 May 14, 2012
Unless you are Mark, and you know what is going through his head or what he is going through, then noone has any right to say anything at all. Yes, being a preacher doesn't make it okay for him to do that, and no Burbank Church should not feel ashamed of Mark. I happen to go to Burbank and I live my life like anyone else, as an indiviual, what Mark does has not power over how I or anyone else at the church live their lives. And I think it's awful sorry for people to say my church is full of hypocrites that sin then go to church. NEWS FLASH EVERYONE SINS! There is not a single person out there who doesn't, and no one sin is worse than any other, and God doesn't hold one persons sin's higher or lower than anothers. So don't judge my church, or my church family! It's not your place to go run your mouths, it'll be all over the news I'm sure and you can watch it then, are you people really so BORED with your lives that you have to go and find fault in everyone else's? I'm sure none of you are PERFECT! I'm sick of reading all this crap on Topix, my gosh you would think that Roan Mountain, being so small would be like a family and help support it each other, atleast everyone here use to be like that very neighborly and loving toward one another, now people jump at every occasion to backstab or gossip about someone.

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