Dave the Disturbance, free air sniffs and free Jack at work


Yes, 5 shots of Jack will get you a DUI

And  what would an installment of this column be without at least one idiot catching a truly legendary buzz and then getting behind the wheel?

We have no idea. We only know that we’re not gonna learn the answer to that question this week, because Knoxville is a remarkably generous city when it comes to providing us with intoxicated drivers to write about.

What we did learn is some people have jobs that apparently allow them to slam large quantities of booze before clocking out on a Saturday night (March 20, to be precise). At least, such was the was the explanation given by a 47-year-old woman who crashed her 2007 BMW X3 on Clinton Highway in Powell.

At 10:47 p.m. dispatchers sent cops, firefighters, and other first responders rushing to 7323 Clinton Highway, which is one of those triple-threat monuments to consumerism that allows us — all in one stop — to fuel up on Exxon gas,  buy some beer and cheap shades in the EZ Stop, and devour a thousand calories’ worth of absurdly yummy Baskin Robbins frozen cuisine. It presumably didn’t take them long to find the scene of the accident, as it turned out the woman “had wrecked her car up on top of a boulder in front of the Exxon gas station,” according to the police report.

There’s no telling which of those neon enticements had drawn the attention of the BMW’s driver, if any, although pretty much anything sounds better then trying explain how you tried to pull into a well-lit parking lot and instead ended up with your car crumpled on top of a boulder near the gas pumps.

Unsurprisingly, the lady responsible for this scene of chaos reeked of alcohol, had trouble staying on her feet and spoke with a decided slur.  “The arrestee admitted to having 5 shots of Jack Daniels at her work prior to driving her vehicle,” the reporting officer noted, without giving any indication as to exactly where she was employed or where we can get a job application. 

Once loaded into the back of the cruiser, the woman “was observed going in and out of consciousness in the back of the patrol vehicle due to her level of intoxication.” She also refused medical treatment, refused to sign an implied consent form and refused to undergo a field sobriety test. All of that refusin’ didn’t do her a bit of good in the end, though, as the one thing she couldn’t refuse was being tossed into the county jail for DUI.

The Odyssey of Dave the Disturbance 

7:50 p.m. March 19 (Friday night).

A pair of Knox County Sheriff’s deputies were sent to a home on Buckeye Road to investigate that vaguest of complaints, a “disturbance.” When the officers arrived, the disturbance was identified by those who had been disturbed as, let’s say, Dave-the-Drunkest-Man-in-Knoxville-at-This-Particular-Moment (“Dave” for short). The cops were also told that Dave was only “a few houses down the street,” which simplified their task immensely….

Well, lo and behold, guess who the officers found while driving down the previously quiet residential street? Yup, there was Dave-the-Disturbance, 49,  just ambling down the side of the road with a blue bag clutched in one hand. He seemed cooperative enough, considering that he didn’t know where he was, what he was doing or even who he was speaking with….

“The arrestee did not remember causing a disturbance at the above address and appeared very confused,” the police report said. “The arrestee repeatedly asked the same questions officers had already answered multiple times.”

Throughout this pointless attempt at a conversation, Dave-the-Disturber tightly clutched his blue bag as if it contained the most precious of all Earthly treasures. That wasn’t going to stop two industrious cops from searching it, of course, especially since they already had a pretty good idea of what was in it. Sure enough, the bag contained a half-full 12-pack of beery ambrosia, which they promptly confiscated before he could become Dave-the-Dead-from-Alcohol-Poisoning.

Dave was dutifully labeled “a danger to himself and others” and taken to the county jail, where he was soon to become only one among many disturbances.

It’s the little things….

You’d think by now that even the dimmest drug dealers would have learned to not leave home in a car with so much as a cracked taillight. After all, the greatest single investigative tool in the hands of police is the ordinary traffic stop. This isn’t some big secret. Everyone, including the thuggiest of thugs, understands this at some level. It just seems that professional criminals  habitually ignore this basic information in favor of cruising all over town in vehicles that might as well metamorphose into neon signs (visible only to cops) that flash “Bust me! Bust me!” in brilliant colored lettering as soon as they enter a public roadway.

Case in point: At 2:48 a.m. March 25 a Knox County deputy spotted 2009 Infiniti G37 on Interstate 40 near the Pellissippi Parkway. The cop had one of those new-fangled computers in his cruiser, and it told him the license tag on the car actually belonged on an entirely different vehicle (a really old Chevy, if you’re curious). 

After pulling over the car, the deputy starting talking to the female driver and her male passenger. According to the deputy, the man in the shotgun seat allegedly, for some unspecified reason, volunteered that he had a little bit of weed in the vehicle. A K-9 officer was deployed, the dog was treated to what police reports refer to as “a free air sniff” and — to exactly no one’s surprise — a veritable cornucopia of party favors was allegedly found. 

“A black makeup bag was found in the trunk of the vehicle that contained 27.6 grams of a crystal like substance believed to be meth which was separated into two baggies, .5 grams of a brown powder substance believed to be heroin in one baggie, and .4 grams of a orange powder believed to be a crushed ecstasy pill,” the police report filed later said.  “Also in the makeup bag were numerous baggies used for resale of narcotics, a scale used to weigh narcotics, and $470 of U.S. Currency in different denominations.”

The occupants of the car claimed the drugs and money didn’t belong to them. This failed to keep them out of jail, although it’s perhaps worth mentioning that there’s no reference to any marijuana being found. 

It’s unknown if the license plate that started this whole mess was ever reunited with its 1992 Chevrolet, or if it was happier being mated to a much younger, sexier outlaw. 

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.

J.J. Stambaugh may be reached at jjstambaugh@hardknoxwire.com 

Published on April 29, 2021