Sextortionists, aggressively stopping and mixing metaphors with meth

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Warning: This column features descriptions of life in Knox County’s criminal underworld and therefore includes profanity as well as frequent references to crimes such as prostitution, drugs and theft. It is intended for mature audiences only.

We all know how it goes in this age of digital hookups and lonely nights with your battery-powered best friend. Or, at least, we know how it’s supposed to go: Safe. Secure. Risk-free.

So imagine the surprise felt by one East Knox County man when he found out that the curvy, morally challenged young woman at the other end of his internet connection wasn’t all that she pretended to be. Even worse, she knew that he wasn’t all that he and his penis pretended to be…. and that his family, friends and his employer wouldn’t be thrilled to see him and his penis pretending to be anything, anywhere, anyhow.

Cue blackmail. Also, cue phone call to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, which has had to deal with entirely too many desperate-penis-hookup-app-extortion cases lately. To their credit, however, they seem to take such matters seriously and sent a deputy to meet with the guy.   

It turns out that this particular circle of depravity began when the man and his paramour, who goes by the name “Delilah,”  first exchanged horny pleasantries on the app called Hinge. They then migrated to WhatsApp, which apparently was more conducive to the gratuitous exchange of naked selfies. We can only hope the desperate dude got to enjoy his torrid affair with “Delilah” for at least a little while, as apparently the whole thing unraveled when she redefined their entire relationship with a single text.

“The victim stated the suspect then began to make threats to post the nude images on social media and send the photographs to his place of employment if he did not send her money,” the deputy said in the ensuing police report. 

Based on the report, at least, it appears the young lady might be looking at a trip to jail and a criminal record, if they ever manage to catch her. Assuming, you know, that “Delilah” isn’t actually a sweaty guy in Bangkok who’s been posting photos of his favorite European porn star on random apps in the hopes of making some American dollars. 

Do nothing and see where it gets you

It was a little after 1 a.m. on Sunday, May 24. There’d been a car crash in West Knoxville near the Interstate 40 on-ramp from Campbell Station Road and, as is usually the case in such instances, a bunch of cops were at the scene doing cop things. They were writing down information, calming folks down and trying to direct traffic. 

Note that we said “trying” to direct traffic. To successfully direct traffic requires that the vehicles you are interacting with are moving. Which was not the case here, as a 2013 Volkswagen Beetle was, well, stubbornly stopped at the red light. And it just kept being stopped at the red light, no matter how many times Deputy Dale Olumstad tried to wave it through the intersection. Motor running, headlights on, turn signals blinking…. But absolutely refusing to, y’know, go.

This kind of behavior on the part of a Volkswagen Beetle (well, on the part of pretty much any automobile) at 1 a.m. on a Sunday is often labeled “suspicious” by cops. Olumstad walked over to the car and was able to see the driver slumped behind the wheel, apparently unconscious. It took several attempts, but Olumstad was finally able to wake up the driver and get him out of the car — along with a single empty beer can that clattered noisily to the asphalt below.

 The driver’s speech was slurred, he was extremely unsteady on his feet and he reeked of booze. He agreed to undergo a series of field sobriety tests and, well, you can surely guess how that scene ended. The driver was handcuffed and agreed to give a blood sample, which didn’t go quite the way the police hoped it would because “when Rural Metro responded to the scene to collect a sample of blood…they were unsuccessful in obtaining the blood after multiple needle sticks.”

Ouch.

Suffice it to say that, by the time the ambulance crew got tired of pointlessly stabbing him with a series of needles, pretty much everyone at the scene (including the hapless, bloodied driver) was so fed up with going through the motions that it was relief to take him to jail, even without all the proof needed to guarantee a conviction later. 

Chivalry and cocaine 

They say big things sometimes come in small packages. They also say chivalry is dead.

They say a lot of things, don’t they?

A Knox County deputy learned that old adages are best left for sleeping dogs and horrifically mixed metaphors as the clock neared 10 p.m. May 23. He was pretty much just a’moseying down Clinton Highway when he spotted a Honda sedan with a broken tail light and no operable tag lights that was also a’moseying down that same stretch of Clinton Highway. Blue lights were turned on, brakes were applied, and stiff pleasantries exchanged between the deputy and the couple inside.

While he was talking to the male half of the couple, the deputy spotted “a small camouflage bag” between his legs and learned from a dispatcher that the man’s license was suspended. Both occupants were then ordered from the car so the deputy could “conduct an investigation on what was in the bag” and wait for a nearby K-9 unit to arrive so an “open air sniff” could be conducted. 

Well, the K-9 unit arrived, the cute doggy sniffed air freely and — surprise! — dope and assorted bits of paraphernalia were found in the bag. Like, almost two grams of what appeared to be crystal meth, .37 grams of cocaine, seven small baggies, a measuring spoon, a scale, and tweezers. 

“Through my experience and training, I know that these items are for the distribution and selling of illegal substances. The suspect admitted that all illegal substances were his,” the deputy wrote in the subsequent report, without even giving the guy credit for chivalrously refusing to put the blame on his gal pal (who wasn’t arrested, by the way).

J.J. Stambaugh can be reached at jjstambaugh@hardknoxwire.com 

Published on June 16, 2021