By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
A local rapper trying to build his music career on a positive message is sitting in Mercer County Jail after cutting himself with broken glass, pulling out a shotgun with police present and fighting with police.
His business manager has been charged with drug offenses.
Justin L. Dunlap, 21, of 3967 Esther Lane, Hermitage, was charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest and disarming a policeman.
Michael R. McKelvey, 21, of the same address, has been charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Hermitage police gave this account:
Neighbors of the townhouse Dunlap and McKelvey live in complained to landlord Joe Mazzant about yelling and the sound of breaking items coming from 3967.
Mazzant said he also heard yelling, chanting, pounding and breaking glass. He decided to call police at 9:23 a.m. Saturday when he heard yelling that sounded like someone was dying and saw Dunlap walk in the nude from the front door to the back.
Mazzant told police his tenants were “acting weird and freaking out.”
Police knocked on the door of 3967 but got no response, and went to talk to neighbors. During the conversation, police heard a male scream coming from 3967 and asked Mazzant to get the keys to the townhouse.
Upon entering, police announced their presence to no response and saw broken glass and coffee mugs and cash on the floor of two rooms.
Police followed yelling voices to two closed doors. Upon opening one, they found McKelvey in bed, naked, reading a book. There were holes in the walls and broken items on the floor. McKelvey alternated between ignoring police and yelling, and “seemed to enter into an excited almost hysterical state of mind.”
In the other room, police found Dunlap in bed with a woman. He yelled, “You cannot let in the light,” “No weapon can hurt me” and “You will not take my soul.”
Dunlap grabbed two pieces of glass and stabbed himself in the torso. He went to a bed frame and pulled out a 12-gauge shotgun. Police pulled the shotgun away but Dunlap fought with them, scratching one policeman on the forearm, biting another’s hand and headbutting a third in the eye
Both men were taken for medical evaluations, but Dunlap was released later in the day to appear before a judge for arraignment.
Police said they found a bag of pot, two pipes and a plastic bottle with foil over the top and burnt residue on it in McKelvey’s room.
Dunlap’s preliminary hearing has been set for 11:30 a.m. Feb. 12, while McKelvey has been sent a summons to appear in court.
In December, The Herald profiled Dunlap’s efforts to break into the entertainment industry as a “positive” rapper. He talked about his struggles growing up, including living on the streets at 15 when his family lost their home.