Best of the blotter: Sullivan County fast-food assault, swinging stalker, bicycle dragster and more

Rain Smith • Updated Dec 29, 2017 at 7:44 AM

This installment of the Times News police blotter contains some of the highs and lows of Sullivan County police reports in 2017.


A suspicious person in an orange shirt was reported along the Bluff City Highway, supposedly “in the roadway praying and talking to the flag.” Police responded and took no action, finding the described suspect was actually part of “a paving crew working in the area.”

When a Blountville man’s wife didn’t return from the store and wouldn’t answer her phone, he went searching for her. She was found at a home a little more than a mile down the road, “half-naked” with a male resident on top of her. Her husband punched her twice in the face before the other man could intervene. The homeowner declined to pursue any trespassing charges — telling officers that the woman’s husband “is welcome in his home” — but the man was still arrested for assaulting his wife.

At an apartment complex in Blountville, a woman was reportedly in the breezeway naked. Dispatchers were soon told she had re-entered a residence, and that the incident was apparently caused by her getting “locked out by the dog.”


At a Blountville apartment, police found an intoxicated man — who was previously told to stay inside — along with windows he had since shattered. When ordered to step away from the building and speak with police, he threw a dog at one officer, then tried to dart between other deputies. After a brief scuffle, he was detained and pills were found in his pocket. He was arrested on drug, vandalism and animal cruelty charges.


A Bristol resident reported a neighbor was trespassing and “spraying something out of a spray bottle onto her flowers.” A responding deputy found the suspect walking back to her own mobile home, but when she spotted police she began “yelling and cussing.” As the officer attempted to speak with her, she continually held the bottle to his face, threatening to douse him. When she refused to calm down and sprayed the unknown fluid, she was arrested for disorderly conduct and trespassing.


A woman reported that she and her husband were being stalked by a man. The complainant said that he quizzes their neighbors to “gather information,” calls and texts from various phone and sits in his pickup “eating sandwiches waiting for them to leave.” She could provide a possible first name for the suspect, but no other information. The couple — who have an “open marriage” — had met him only once. That’s when they let him “enter their residence for one evening.”


At a Kingsport home, someone fired a mortar-type firework through a window and into the living room, charring the curtains, couch and wall. The resident named a person who could be responsible — a man whom he owes money — and displayed a cryptic Facebook message previously sent from the suspect: “Break bread or fake dead.” Shortly after the fire, the victim received another message, specified in a police report as “two pictures of a pinata.”


During filming of the Discovery Channel’s “Street Outlaws” at Thunder Valley, a spectator took a bicycle onto the dragway for a ride. An officer reported seeing the suspect, 26, swerving to avoid track personnel giving chase, then wrecking. The suspect initially “laid on the ground shaking and screaming,” but as officials approached, he “jumped on his bike and began riding around again.” After crashing a second time, he was brought into custody and arrested for disorderly conduct and public intoxication.


A woman claimed that on her way home with food from Wendy’s, she ate some of her husband’s french fries. He later became enraged after finding he “didn’t have many fries left.” According to her account, he pitched a cheeseburger at her (but missed), then pushed her down and smeared ketchup on her face. Due to a lack of evidence and conflicting statements, police took no action.

A man called police to say he overheard his neighbors discussing “two dead bodies under their house and a dead body out back in the well.” He also advised that the conversation might be related to a case he saw on “Unsolved Mysteries” and that he was going to start digging in the yard. When officers arrived at the Bristol residence, they found nothing suspicious, while the caller — who had “sounded very intoxicated” — could not be located.


On Hooker Road in Blountville, police responded to multiple complaints of a disruptive woman “running around the neighborhood in only her bra.” The suspect was found “unable to speak in normal sentences, jerking and yelling.” When asked if she had anywhere to stay, she named a neighbor, but that person declined to house her: “She had already been there, wearing only a bra, doing cartwheels on their couch.” Ultimately, she was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

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