Guns and Rump roast: Friends like these


Is that drink loaded?

Growing up in Tennessee, most of us learned how to appreciate the finer things in life at a young age. Things like the color orange, hard liquor and, well, guns. 

Most of us learn to keep those venerable traditions at arm’s length from one another, usually during our teen years. But we’ve all got a developmentally challenged cousin or two who likes to preface their hospital trips with the phrase “Watch this” as they reach greedily for a tall glass of fermentation, gunpowder and blood….

Take the 24-year-old woman who ended up in the emergency room at Turkey Creek Medical Center at 4 a.m. Jan. 31, having spent her Saturday night in an alcoholic fog at a party somewhere on Kingston Pike that went painfully wrong.

Knox County sheriff’s deputies were called to the ER because the young lady had a gunshot wound to her upper backside. Not that there was much they could do, as the woman gave only the most bare-bones account of her evening with no names or addresses included, according to a police report.

The young lady explained that she’d been at a party “somewhere on Kingston Pike” and had been putting away large amounts of Crown Royal when, apparently channeling the spirit of Pandora, she found herself fondling another partygoer’s handgun. Shockingly, the firearm suddenly discharged when she “tried to put it in her back pocket,” sending a single round directly into “the back of her left thigh,” the report said.

 The unexpected gunfire presumably triggered a desperate scramble among partygoers to see who would do the chivalrous thing by, say, dumping her at a nearby gas station instead of calling an ambulance or even taking her straight to the hospital. 

“She stated that someone drove her to a gas station and dropped her off, where she called another person to transport her to the hospital,” the report said. “She alleged that she does not know whose house she was at, nor whose firearm was used, nor specifically where on Kingston Pike she was.”

Cupid’s Revenge

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The one day each year we’ve chosen to venerate the ideal of romantic love and agree to use peer pressure to subsidize the greeting card industry. 

Some of us honor our partners by splurging on candlelit dinners, a gift card for the “Sexual Wellness” aisle at Walgreens, and obscene quantities of chocolate. 

Others, however, apparently believe that nothing says “I love you” like replacing Cupid’s Bow with a Taurus 9 millimeter….

A reported domestic disturbance brought a contingent of Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputies to a Mill Road address around 9:30 a.m. Feb. 14. The male half of the couple said he’d confronted his girlfriend “over seeing other men on Valentine’s Day,” prompting the young lady to first slap him and then begin hitting him with a phone charger cord.

The man said he then tried to retrieve his dog from his girlfriend’s car but she countered by pulling a 9 millimeter pistol from her backpack, prompting him to run toward some nearby woods. As he fled, the woman pointed the gun at the ground and fired one round into the dirt.

The woman was arrested after she “admitted to officers she had fired a round in close proximity to the victim as he was leaving during the incident, and stated the handgun was located in the trunk of her vehicle,” according to a police report.

A little over 12 hours later and on the opposite side of the county, a pair of sheriff’s deputies came upon a Kia that had pulled to the side of the road at the intersection of Executive Park Drive and Park Village Road. A woman was sitting in the car while two men just kind of stood around, prompting the officers to ask if there was a problem. 

One of the men, whom we will call “Casanova,” explained that the trio had been driving around when an argument with his girlfriend turned physical. The lady, a 39-year-old we hereby dub “Ophelia,” allegedly became violent and scratched him before pulling a handgun and pointing it at him.

This sudden escalation brought the trio’s leisurely drive to a swift halt.

Casanova understandably felt threatened by having a gun pulled on him and threatened to call the cops. Ophelia responded by tossing the gun from the car. The third member of the party, however, backed up Casanova’s story and even told the cops where to find the gun, which led to Ophelia’s arrest for domestic violence. 

Ain’t love grand?

It’s innocent, just axe 

As a general rule, if you break the law it’s a good idea to not draw attention to yourself.

For example, waving an axe over your head while screaming at your adult daughter in the parking lot of a hotel off Western Avenue near downtown is not recommended behavior unless you want a close encounter with a team of Knoxville’s finest. 

But that, of course, is exactly what happened around 1 a.m. Feb. 16.

When Knoxville Police Department officers got to the Hamilton Inn on Clyde Street at the request of an anonymous caller, there were no signs of either the man or woman in the parking lot but they did find an axe lying on the pavement, alone.

The officers were able to track the father-daughter team to a room on the second floor. The father was bleeding from a large cut on his face as well as “multiple cuts along his arms and back,” according to the police report, but he steadfastly refused to say a word about what happened. 

The daughter, however, said that some friends of hers had come by the hotel room and gotten angry with her father. She could only identify her “friends” as two men, one of whom she knew only by his first name and the second she knew only by his physical description.

The men “began hitting and kicking” her father, she told the officers. After they left, she continued, her dad got angry “for the beatdown he received and was forcing her to leave the room.”

A hotel employee said they had seen the woman being pushed out of the room by her father but witnessed nothing else.

The police report leaves many questions unanswered, such as why the three men were fighting in the first place, how the axe had gotten involved, and whether the anonymous caller had truthfully seen the father swinging the axe at his daughter. Based on the evidence gathered thus far, after all, the axe might have been the most blameless character in this scenario….

Any lingering doubts as to how the situation would be resolved were cleared up when the officers ran background checks on both occupants of the room. It turned out the woman was wanted on outstanding warrants for criminal trespassing and domestic assault, so she was booked into the county jail. 

The report made no mention as to the fate of the axe. We can only hope the officers also took it into custody, as there’s no telling how an innocent cutting tool might be affected by prolonged exposure to such shady characters. Let’s all hope it doesn’t end up being mentioned in any future police reports, and perhaps even finds its way to Hollywood and a starring role with Jack Nicholson. Hey, an axe can dream, can’t it?

Tales of the Scruffy City is compiled from public records provided on request by the Knoxville Police Department, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, and other government agencies. We do not identify the citizens who appear in these reports in order to protect their privacy. Many of those who appear in police reports are guilty of nothing more than having a bad day, while even those who are formally accused of a crime are innocent until proven guilty.

Tales of the Scruffy City is Copyright 2021 by Hard Knox Wire.
Published on February 25, 2021