Sheriff Doug King said 30-year-old John D. Mullins of Birchleaf told officers he had stopped to get gas at the store at Exit 24 off Interstate 77 just after midnight on July 19. The man reported some subjects were cursing nearby in the parking lot and Mullins asked them not to have such talk in front of his children, according to the sheriff.
Two of the men then attacked Mullins hitting him in the head and face, King stated. When the deputies responded to the call, they found the men were gone and the officers administered first-aid to Mullins until the rescue squad arrived, the sheriff reported.
Mullins was transported to Wythe County Community Hospital. He was then transferred to Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Mullins’ condition was unavailable at press time.
King noted officers patrolled the Lead Mines Road area looking for the green Volkswagen in which the suspects were traveling. A deputy, he said, located the vehicle returning to the station and made it stop.
After questioning the four passengers, deputies charged Charles O’Bryan and Chad Robinson, both 19 and from Woodlawn, with unlawful wounding and underage possession of alcohol. Robinson also was charged with being drunk in public.
The car’s operator, Katherine Dalton, 20, of Hillsville was charged with driving under the influence – her second offense in five years, driving after forfeiture of her license, possession of a canceled driver’s license, possession of drug paraphernalia (smoking device) and possession of marijuana. She also was charged with possession of a scheduled 4 narcotic without a prescription, underage possession of alcohol and having a defective rear taillight.
Another female, 19-year-old Jordan C. Dalton of Hillsville, was charged with being drunk in public and possession of marijuana. She has been released on bond.
Katherine Dalton, O’Bryan and Robinson were transported to the New River Valley Regional Jail and all three have posted bond. The trial date for all four has been set for Sept. 4 at 1 p.m.