Turtle skinning complaint prompts alleged assault against Kingsport officer

Rain Smith • Aug 31, 2010 at 5:52 AM

The Kingsport woman's neighbors say all they wanted to do was skin and eat the turtle.

But she took exception and called police to report animal cruelty — ultimately getting herself hauled away for allegedly pointing a butcher knife at an officer, then resisting arrest.

According to a Kingsport police report, the incident occurred at about 8:40 Monday night. Officers were called to 911 Dale Alley in reference to animal cruelty in progress.

Polly A. Foster, 66, came out on her porch to speak with the officer. She allegedly sat down in a chair, picked up a bat and said, "That's what they beat it with."

"The female was apparently referring to a turtle," reads the officer's narrative. "The female then retrieved a large kitchen butcher knife from under her seat."

When police asked why she had the knife, Foster said, "that's what they cut it with." She was allegedly ordered to put the knife down, but refused and told the officer, "I'm going to show you what they did."

The officer says he drew his firearm and repeatedly told Foster to drop the knife. She allegedly, "continued to shake the knife," while staying seated in the chair.

The officer reports drawing his baton to strike the knife, knocking it out of Foster's hand. While being cuffed she allegedly pulled away, claiming "I'm not doing anything."

In an attempt to determine what exactly prompted Foster's call to police, the reporting officer spoke with neighbors.

"They stated that they were skinning a turtle to eat when Polly started yelling at them and shaking a bat around," reads his report.

Foster was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest. The report notes she has a previous charge of assault against a police officer, and her address will be flagged for future reference.

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