KPD: DUI suspect totes beer during foot chase along I-81

Rain Smith • Mar 11, 2013 at 2:09 AM

A suspected DUI driver led Kingsport police on a treacherous foot pursuit Friday night, allegedly running from his crashed pickup into the median of Interstate 81, while fiercely protecting an unknown object clutched in his hands.

After being tackled in the median, pepper sprayed and restrained by two officers he reportedly released the suspicious item: an unopened can of Busch beer.

Oadis Housewright, 56, of 425 Rocky Branch Road, faces numerous charges in the incident. Kingsport police records say it began with a report of a pickup tangled in a cable barrier along I-81 and attempting to leave.

At 10:09 p.m. an officer located the vehicle, a 2011 Ford F-150, near mile marker 57. As the officer exited his squad car and approached the crash the truck's passenger side door reportedly swung open. The driver, later identified as Housewright, is alleged to have then run from the crash with "an unknown object in his arms."

A foot chase ensued into the median between north and southbound interstate traffic, with Housewright reportedly ignoring commands to stop. When caught and tackled Housewright continued to struggle, according to the officer's report, placing both his hands and the suspicious item under his body.

Police say that when another officer arrived Housewright continued to fight and hold on to the unknown object. Several strikes were deployed on his body with no effect, prompting a burst of pepper spray to his eyes. This reportedly allowed officers to gain control of his arms.

"The item the male had been running with and concealing," according to the police report, "was an unopened can of Busch beer."

Police say Housewright then admitted to drinking, adding that he had been driving the pickup when it crashed. He was transported to Indian Path Medical Center to access the extent of his injuries, sustained in both the crash and subsequent scuffle with police.

Housewright was then transported to the city jail. He was booked and charged with driving under the influence, failure to maintain control, resisting arrest and leaving the scene of an accident.

Recommended for You

    Kingsport Times News Videos