James R. Felker, 27
A Kingsport man has allegedly filed a false kidnapping report against a woman who had just bonded him out of jail but then booted him from her vehicle after learning he intended to skip court.
James R. Felker, 27, of 318 Childress St., was originally arrested on Friday, July 11, on a warrant for violation of the sex offender registry in Kingsport. According to Sullivan County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart, Felker was released Wednesday evening on $1,500 bond.
Shortly thereafter, a woman called police to the BP station on Highway 394. According to Earhart, the female reported she had posted Felker's bond, but now he was in her vehicle and making threats to hurt her.
A deputy responded and told the woman that if there was a problem, she didn't have to give Felker a ride. The officer then remained on scene to make sure Felker exited her vehicle without further incident.
Felker's evening is picked back up with a report filed by the Kingsport Police Department. At approximately 10 p.m., a KPD officer was asked to meet with a Bristol, Tenn., officer at the DMV office on Highway 11-W. The request regarded a man who told a clerk at Food City in Blountville that he had been kidnapped, with the store then calling police.
Upon arrival, Felker reportedly reiterated the kidnapping claim to a Kingsport officer, adding it occurred following his release from jail. He allegedly stated that he was walking on Stone Drive near Eastman Road when a burgundy van, containing individuals he did not know, offered him a ride.
According to a KPD incident report, Felker told police that he accepted their invitation and entered the vehicle, finding it contained a woman, man and several children. Felker allegedly said the male then told him, "You're not going anywhere but back to jail."
Felker reportedly claimed to have then been transported to Blountville, with the van stopping along the way to drop off the children at an undisclosed location. Then the allegedly unknown woman called police to the BP station, according to Felker's statements in a police report, to falsely claim he had assaulted her.
At this point in Felker's alleged statements to police, his account briefly matches what actually occurred at the gas station: He was told to get out of the vehicle by an SCSO deputy and complied. However, Felker reportedly told Kingsport police that he "was unable to tell" the responding deputy that he had been kidnapped — adding that as he walked away the van "pulled in front of him and made him get back inside."
According to the KPD police report, Felker claims the alleged unknown occupants of the vehicle then drove him to Food City "to steal some batteries." While inside he alerted a clerk to his kidnapping, with the employee's subsequent call to 911 bringing Bristol and Kingsport police into the ordeal. KPD and SCSO records do not specify if Felker is believed to have walked to the Food City in Blountville or was given a ride by someone in a vehicle.
The KPD police report notes that Kingsport, Bristol and Sullivan County officers all conferred about their run-ins with Felker throughout the night, coming to the conclusion that he had lied about the kidnapping.
The SCSO deputy reported that Felker indeed knows the woman he accompanied at the BP station, while Kingsport police report she had posted his bail at the Blountville jail. Their altercation in her vehicle, prompting her call to police, may have been related to Felker stating that he "was not going to court."
After being transported to the Kingsport Justice Center, Felker continued to deny knowing the woman. Upon being placed under arrest for filing a false police report, Felker allegedly asked "if he told us the truth would we let him go?"
Felker was then booked into the Kingsport jail and later transported back to the Sullivan County Justice Center. On Friday afternoon, he remained held without bond with a court appearance set for July 29.