Cardboard oblivion, warped at-work ethic


Cardboard ride to oblivion 

Once you’ve made the decision to get wasted on a Saturday night, your next choice is to decide which substance (or substances) to choose from that are available from the hundreds of illicit pharmacists plying their trade on Knoxville’s streets.

Despite its toxicity and tendency to convince its users they have superpowers, alcohol remains the drug of choice throughout most of North America, and Knoxville is no exception. There are also, of course, those who want a buzz that’s more “Giggle and eat cookies” than it is “Fight the bouncers who won’t let me lick the stripper.” Those people usually smoke pot. But there are also those who want to go even further than where alcohol takes them, to pursue not just euphoria but flat-out oblivion ….

People like the exceptionally petite, 21-year-old redheaded woman (hereinafter referred to simply as “Redhead”) who met the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at the Weigel’s, 2119 Emory Road, as the clock drew ever nearer to the witching hour on April 3.

Knox County officers were sent to the convenience store to investigate a disturbance only to discover that even a standard “misdemeanor investigation” would be serious overkill in this instance. You see, Redhead had been walking around inside the Weigel’s, stacking up pieces of cardboard in the store’s corners. That’s right — just taking pieces of ordinary cardboard and filling up the corners of the Weigel’s with them for no discernible reason. 

The officers, naturally curious, asked what she was doing and Redhead explained that “she was attempting to charge her phone.” The officers prompt placed her under arrest and proceeded to escort her from the business, at which point they “observed the arrestee to begin screaming ‘fuck you’ to a random customer who was standing outside of the Weigel’s entrance door,” according to the police report.

To exactly no one’s surprise, Redhead eventually told the officers that she’d been using Knoxville’s favorite ticket to oblivion, heroin. 

Despite this admission, Redhead insisted to the officers that she wasn’t carrying anything illegal. The officers, in turn, insisted on searching her and soon found “approximately .1 grams of a tar like substance consistent to that of heroin” stashed in her right sock. The officers then insisted that she go straight to jail, to the relief of cardboard pieces all across Knox County.

Fight for your right to party 

Say what you will about this guy, at least he’s got a work ethic. Or something. 

After all, not many of us would literally fight to stay at work even when our boss wants us to go home. Of course, most of us probably (hopefully) don’t get wasted and then pass out in our cars while at work, either…

  Deputy  Marcus Parton of the Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a job site on Camelot Court in West Knox County a few minutes before 10 a.m. April 16. He was told that an employee had been fired “for showing up under the influence” and was refusing to leave, and when he arrived he was directed to where the ex-employee was sitting in his car, a 2002 Dodge  Neon.

Parton tried to talk to the 37-year-old man child who was sitting behind the wheel with a pipe allegedly lying in plain sight on the passenger’s side but he appeared to be asleep.

“I then opened the door to wake the suspect up and told him to exit the vehicle,” Parton wrote in the subsequent report. “The suspect appeared to be under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. I asked the suspect to exit the car but he refused. At this time I attempted to detain the suspect.”

The man in the car, however, apparently decided the best way to retain his job, or his dignity, or something, was to fight the police officer. One can only imagine him screaming the lyrics to the Beastie Boy’s classic “Fight For Your Right (To Party)” as he squirmed, twisted and tried to bite Parton’s hands. 

As is usually the case, this strategy didn’t work out particularly well for the guy. A second deputy soon arrived and the struggling “employee-of-the-month” candidate was swiftly brought under control. An ambulance crew was called to the scene and decided the man didn’t have any injuries that required hospital treatment, Parton said in his report. 

A further examination of the man’s vehicle and background revealed a number of issues that police normally take an interest in: “The suspect had the keys to the vehicle in his lap and had a suspended license. The tag on the vehicle did not belong to the car, there were multiple drug paraphernalia items in the car, and the suspect has two outstanding warrants from Union County for driving while suspended.”

The “drug paraphernalia” included syringes, pipes, a grinder and a small weight of the kind used to calibrate scales.

This was more than enough to justify arresting the guy, of course, so that’s exactly what the officers did, leaving the Turkey Creek area just a little less scruffy than it was beforehand.

Tales of the Scruffy City is compiled from public records provided on request by the Knoxville Police Department, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, and other government agencies. We do not identify the citizens who appear in these reports in order to protect their privacy. Many of those who appear in police reports are guilty of nothing more than having a bad day, while even those who are formally accused of a crime are innocent until proven guilty. Tales of the Scruffy City is Copyright 2021 by Hard Knox Wire.

J.J. Stambaugh may be reached at 

Published on May 7, 2021