Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy John Tunnell was investigating stolen property when he stopped a 2003 Ford Escape, which had Dustin Dale Arnold in the front passenger seat, just south of Rogersville on E. McKinney Avenue.
Initially Arnold gave a false name, which Tunnell was unable to verify on his computer, but eventually Arnold gave his correct name, police said. When Tunnell checked out Arnold on NCIC, he came up as wanted. Tunnell then told Arnold to exit the vehicle multiple times, but Arnold allegedly refused to comply.
"He (Arnold) then instructed the driver to drive off, and he climbed halfway over the console and attempted to drive the vehicle," Tunnell stated in his report.
Tunnell said he used his taser on Arnold, who was able to pull out the wires and continue driving the vehicle from the scene. While fleeing, Arnold allegedly almost struck a pedestrian in addition to endangering the safety of two other occupants in the vehicle.
Police located the Ford Escape a few minutes later, and Arnold allegedly fled on foot before being captured on Armstrong Road.
On Wednesday, Arnold appeared in Hawkins County Sessions Court where he pleaded guilty to pending charges of evading arrest by foot and resisting arrest, which date to Oct. 1, 2018. He received a suspended sentence and was ordered held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond pending an appearance in Criminal Court on Feb. 8 on four counts of probation violation stemming from four Hawkins County Criminal Court cases in 2016.
Arnold was initially arrested on Jan. 28, 2016, on Route 66 in Rogersville while dressed in a Statue of Liberty costume and working as a street advertiser for a local tax return company.
A Rogersville police officer spotted him making a "pills for pot" drug transaction, resulting in his arrest on drug charges. While free on bond for those charges, he was subsequently arrested three other times, two of them involving evading arrest.
On Oct. 7, 2016, Arnold pleaded guilty in Criminal Court to charges in all four cases including two counts of evading arrest, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving, two counts of simple exchange of narcotics and possession of Schedule III narcotics for resale. He was sentenced to two years in prison at 30 percent, which was to be served consecutive to three consecutive probation terms of 11 months, 29 days.
As for his new charges from Tuesday's arrest, Arnold was arraigned Wednesday in Sessions Court for felony evading arrest, evading arrest by foot, three counts of reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, criminal impersonation and driving on a suspended license second offense.