Woman charged with reckless driving after beer purchase denied

Jeff Bobo • Mar 13, 2013 at 9:08 AM

CHURCH HILL — A woman who was denied a beer purchase two days before her 21st birthday Tuesday night was arrested after allegedly leaving the store at a high rate of speed and hitting a street sign while being chased by police.

Shortly before midnight Tuesday, Church Hill Police Department Officer Dustin Dean was walking toward the entrance of the Food City store on Highway 11-W when he observed two women arguing with the manager.

Dean wrote in his report that the females were standing next to a red Dodge truck in the parking lot.

Dean said, “I asked the manager if everything was OK, and he stated ‘No, I was refusing to sell them beer and they tried to go out the self check-out and buy it anyway.’”

As Dean approached both females, however, they allegedly entered the truck and pulled out, “leaving the parking lot at a very high rate of speed.”

“I went back to my patrol car and attempted to catch up to the vehicle,” Dean said. “I observed the truck turn left and travel west on Highway 11-W, continuing to travel at a high rate of speed. I activated my emergency equipment as I turned onto Highway 11-W.”

As Dean caught up to the pickup he reportedly observed it attempt to make a right turn onto Hawkins Avenue.

“I observed the vehicle slide approximately 75-80 feet through the emergency lane, across the intersection, and strike the stop sign on Hawkins Avenue,” Dean added. “The driver backed the vehicle away from the sign and guardrail and attempted to pull away when I arrived and blocked its path.”

The driver was alone when Dean approached the truck.

She was identified as Kayla Brooke Johnson, 221 Country Lane, Lot 7, Church Hill. Johnson’s 21 birthday is today. Although it wasn’t specified why she and her female companion were denied the beer sale, CHPD Chief Mark Johnson said Wednesday it was likely due to them being underage.

Dean said, “I asked (Kayla) Johnson where the passenger went and she stated, ‘She jumped out at the red light and ran.’”

A computer check revealed Kayla Johnson’s driver’s license to be suspended for failure to satisfy a citation in Washington County in 2012.

“Johnson stated she was sorry for the altercation and said she did not know I was a police officer or see the police car parked across from her or she would not have left the parking lot,” Dean added. “She said she was not trying to evade me when she wrecked, but she was trying to pull off the road because she saw my blue lights.”

Kayla Johnson was charged with reckless driving and driving on a suspended license, and she was released from the Hawkins County jail on $1,000 bond. Her arraignment is set for Monday.

Mark Johnson said Kayla Johnson’s passenger hadn’t been identified as of Wednesday.

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