Arjay hit-and-run suspect found

The Arjay man who made headlines on Wednesday for leading police on a high speed chase from Pineville to Middlesboro, is now being charged with first-degree criminal mischief and leaving the scene of the accident, after police determined he was involved in what was originally reported as a hit-and-run at the Arjay Post Office prior to the chase that landed him in jail.

According to a press release from the Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Bell County Dispatch received a call Wednesday morning at 9:40 a.m. in reference to a car striking the Arjay Post Office. Post office employees arrived for work and found a large hole in the wall with damage breaching through to the inside of the building.

Once on scene, Deputy Jared Smith — with the assistance from the community, determined that Robert Bidlingmyer, 52, the man who was later involved in a high speed chase from Pineville to Middlesboro, was responsible for the impact. After further investigation and contact with Pineville Det. Kevin Goodin, who is handling the pursuit case, Smith was able to match the damage to the post office with marks on Bidlingmyer’s truck.

Bidlingmyer was already lodged in the Bell County Detention Center for charges resulting from the chase. His original charges were first-degree fleeing or evading police in a motor vehicle, first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer, resisting arrest, reckless driving, third-degree assault by an inmate on a corrections employee, failure of owner to maintain insurance and failure to wear seat belt.

Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-248-9091.

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