Motorcyclist accused of popping wheelie on Center Street arrested; woman found stumbling on John B. Dennis

Rain Smith • Jun 30, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport police arrested a motorcyclist Friday accused of popping a wheelie less than a block from the police station, while an intoxicated woman was taken to jail after “stumbling almost into traffic” on John. B. Dennis Highway.

About 9:50 a.m. Friday, a Kingsport Police Department officer saw a 1996 Suzuki driving recklessly on West Center Street. After the motorcycle passed Kingsport City Hall, it accelerated quickly in traffic and popped a wheelie.

The officer immediately initiated a stop on the motorcycle. The rider, Travis Gale, 28, of 1713 Ridgeway Drive, was found to have his license suspended in January due to frequent traffic violations.

Also, a check of the motorcycle’s Kentucky license was found to not be registered. Gale was arrested and charged with reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, and violation of registration law.

About 6:20 a.m. Friday, Kingsport police were called to the Wal-Mart on Fort Henry Drive in reference to a public drunk. Wal-Mart personnel reported a woman had repeatedly gone into and out of the men’s restroom and was stumbling throughout the store.

Security officers told police the woman had left the store and was last seen walking on Fort Henry Drive near the intersection of John B. Dennis Highway, wearing a red dress.

According to a police report, the woman was found “walking in the middle of the entrance ramp to north John. B. Dennis. Immediately I noticed the female was stumbling almost into traffic.”

Police report the woman, Heather Leanne Stapelton, 28, of 325 Twin Hills Drive, had trouble standing under her own power. She almost fell down twice while speaking with officers, and spoke with slurred speech.

According to police, Stapelton said she “had been partying last night.”

A search of her purse found four pills believed to be Alprazolam and seven pills believed to be Promethazine. She had a prescription for neither of the medications, police said.

Stapelton was arrested and charged with possession of controlled substances and public drunkenness.

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