Silver canes, suspicious naps


Sucking the silver cane 

Some people seem to exist for no reason other than to justify our society’s massive investment in jails. Case in point…

Officer Joshua Hodge was dispatched to the Kroger Marketplace in Farragut just after 6 p.m. June 23 to investigate a “disturbance,” which is one of those vague complaints that can literally mean anything from a kid crying over spilt ice cream to that same kid hovering 10 feet off the ground, eyes glowing a furious red as he incinerates everyone nearby with hellfire shooting from his fingertips. 

When Hodge located the victim of this particular disturbance, she appeared to be utterly terrified. The 24-year-old woman managed to describe how a white male with a silver cane had approached her and threatened to “beat her brains in” before raising the cane as if to hit her, Hodge said in his subsequent report. 

“The male then walked back towards his car, turned around and flashed his penis and scrotum while stating, ‘Suck my dick, bitch!’ The male subject then returned to his car and took off down the road,” Hodge said.

An E-911 dispatcher then informed Hodge that a white male in a gold Impala was reportedly down the road, “running around with a silver club.” The officer soon found the car parked at a nearby Discount Tires on Kingston Pike, apparently disabled by a busted tire. Hodge was told that the driver had walked north after dropping off his car, and it didn’t take Hodge long to find the man at a smoothie shop behind the tire store in all his goateed, purple top-knotted glory.

The question of whether the man was wielding a “cane” or a “club” or had mastered the magical art of transmogrification was soon made academic, since he laid the silver object down on the ground as soon as he spotted the police officer. Despite this initial display of cooperation, however, the man was “very irate, mush mouthed” and reeked of alcohol, according to the report.

“Just shoot me, faggot, you’re all faggots anyway!” the man yelled. Hodge ordered him to turn around and put his hands behind his back, triggering several minutes worth of aggravation as the man squirmed around like a 5’10”, 200-pound moist, slimy worm until he was safely handcuffed and stuffed in Hodge’s back seat. 

The 37-year-old man (along with his potty mouth, scrotum, penis and cane) was transported to the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility so he could continue filming imaginary video homages to Kid Rock in a cell. 

A sleeping trend 

There was something suspicious about the old, surplus police cruiser parked by a West Knoxville convenience store. 

It wasn’t the time of day,  as it was approximately 2:20 p.m. on a Saturday. It wasn’t the fact that the car had been painted red, since plenty of old Ford Crown Victorias are auctioned off to owners with their own ideas about aesthetics. It wasn’t even necessarily the fact that the driver had been parked for several minutes without getting out — in the era of cell phones, there was nothing strange about taking a break from the road to catch up on calls, texts and Pornhub videos.

No, those things didn’t make the 1995 Crown Vic parked at the Neighborhood Market at 9224 Middlebrook Pike suspicious. Interesting, maybe, but not suspicious.  No, it was the car’s license plate that made it suspicious. Or, more accurately, it was the fact that the car had none.

Naturally enough, things like automobiles with no tags tend to attract the attention of cops and today (June 19) would be no exception.

The driver, for his part, was utterly oblivious to the attention his tagless red Crown Vic had attracted. The 59-year-old man had passed out cold while trying (and failing) to bring a can of Michelob Ultra to his lips. The passenger’s seat and floorboard were half-buried in an aluminum  deadfall of empty beer cans; his keys, apparently forgotten, dangled from the ignition.

When the officers reached his door they were able to size up the situation at a glance and immediately (and loudly) demanded that he step out of his vehicle. Not only was there “drool and snot running all over his face,” he was also “very unsteady on his feet, was mumbling/slurring his speech, an had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his person.” A records check showed his driver’s license was suspended and he had two previous DUIs, from 1998 and 2007, which raised the possibility that he’d been drinking steadily since the release of Spice World. 

In fact, the guy was so plastered that they didn’t even bother asking him to perform any field sobriety tests or taking him to jail; he was instead given a misdemeanor citation and driven to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for a blood test and further medical treatment.

Two days later, yet another person was picked up for partying in their car  ‘til consciousness slipped away, this time in downtown Knoxville. A few minutes before 6 a.m. June 21, a pair of Knox County officers were flagged down at the corner of W. Main Street and Locust Street by a pedestrian who said that the driver of a parked BMW was apparently unconscious. The officers walked up to the car and saw that the driver was, indeed, sound asleep.  

“Officers observed an open container of 16 oz Miller High Life in the cup holder in the front of the vehicle and an empty container of 16 oz Pabst Blue Ribbon in the back floorboard. I observed the suspect to have bloodshot and watery eyes, unsteady on his feet, mumbling in his speech, and a strong odor of alcoholic beverages emitting from his breath and person,” the police report on the incident said.

When asked if he’d be willing to take a field sobriety test, the man replied simply, “I’m going to fail it.” Things swiftly went downhill for the guy, who tried to cooperate by taking the battery of tests and then, when he began failing just as predicted, suddenly refused to continue because “he had to be at work in two hours, and that he needed to leave.”

Well, he was permitted to leave the scene, but only to be taken to the county jail on Maloneyville Road to finish his much-needed nap.

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 July 21, 2021