Vehicle nearly strikes two Kingsport police cruisers, driver arrested

Rain Smith • Aug 31, 2010 at 7:28 AM

A Kingsport motorist has been arrested after allegedly squealing to a stop at a red light, narrowly avoiding a collision with two police cruisers in the intersection.

In a subsequent traffic stop, he was charged with driving under the influence. The arrest report adds he was not in compliance with a court order, restricting him to driving vehicles equipped with alcohol recognition ignition devices.

The incident occurred at about 2:30 Saturday morning. Two officers, traveling in separate squad cars, were sitting at a red light at the intersection of Bloomingdale Pike and West Stone Drive. When the light turned green they proceeded to cross Stone Drive to reach Clinchfield Street.

The second officer in line reports that while crossing the intersection, a 1993 Ford Escort traveling, "at a high rate of speed," approached on eastbound Stone Drive. The first patrol car made it through the intersection, but the second officer feared the Escort was not going to stop. He reportedly applied his brakes heavily, with the Escort doing likewise.

The suspect's vehicle allegedly came to a stop with its rear tires over the traffic signal's stop bar. When the light turned green the Escort continued eastbound on Stone Drive, with the reporting officer turning around to follow.

The officer stopped the vehicle, reporting the driver had watery and glassy eyes. He allegedly spoke with thickly slurred speech, then "fumbled" through the glove box for two minutes in search of registration.

The driver, Clint A. Norris, 33, of 205 Packing House Road, allegedly admitted to drinking a few beers at a nearby bar. He agreed to perform field sobriety tests, but according to police, performed poorly.

Norris was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. He refused to submit a breath test, resulting in an additional charge of violation of implied consent.

Police say he was restricted to operating vehicles with alcohol interlock devices, which he was not doing when the incident occurred.

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