The gods must be crazy

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It’s been said since ancient times that the gods look out for fools and drunks. If true, then the eyes of the heavens have apparently been riveted on Knox County as of late. 

Take, for example, the odyssey that befell this restless woman on the afternoon of Nov. 10.

Perhaps Ancient Dionysus, son of Zeus and god of wine, possessed her as she went into the Pilot convenience store at 1826 Western Avenue at 5:30 p.m.

How else did she manage to hide a $29 case of beer well enough to slip away without giving the honorable merchant his rightful coin?  How else can we explain the frenzy that so engulfed her rational mind that she left her purse in the store, the very same purse that contained such worldly treasures as her ID card? Surely the madness of the Bacchae rode her without respite as she left the store, case of beer clutched in one hand, her mind on the worship of her deity even as a Knoxville police officer found her….

Alas, Dionysus must have found her devotion lacking since the police officer was able to take both the beer and a crack pipe from her without divine retribution. Yet perhaps Dionysus continued to smile on his wayward daughter, for despite her obvious guilt she was allowed to leave with only a citation for shoplifting, leaving her free to resume her search for her fellow maenads and the Bacchanal they pursued.

The gods are fickle, indeed.

And then, just when you think you know how the story ends….

A half-hour past midnight Nov. 10 on a southeast Knox County intersection and Sheriff’s Office deputies found a suspicious Mazda at the side of the road, engine running, the driver slumped unconscious behind the wheel. 

When the deputies tried to wake up the 22-year-old woman in the driver’s seat, “she at first could not follow commands to place the vehicle in park and the vehicle rolled forward,” according to the  report filed by Deputy Dennis Sosville. “Officers extracted her from the vehicle and placed it in park.”

The woman told the deputies that she had worked the night shift and fallen asleep at the intersection, the report said. She gave them permission to search the car and they allegedly found a marijuana pipe plus “several snort straws and small baggies, consistent with drug use.”

Sounds like an open-shut case of DUI, right?

Not at all, as it turns out, for the ghost of Bob Marley apparently decided to intervene on the drowsy young woman’s behalf.

Obviously suspicious that the young woman had been smoking and snorting forbidden substances, the deputies decided to give the woman a field sobriety test. 

A test which the woman then passed. 

It was unclear if she passed with psychedelic flying colors, as she so clearly deserved. 

“She was determined to be fit to drive,” Sosville wrote.

 The young woman was issued a misdemeanor citation and then allowed to drive away, having lost her sneak-a-toke yet having gained the the admiration of potheads everywhere.

Bathroom floor blues

It was after midnight on Nov. 11, and he wanted to pull over.

He was driving the stolen Ford sedan down Broadway, undoubtedly exhausted after a hard day’s work, eyes red and wrists itching as he thought about how much he could get for the haul of hot power tools, tablet computers, cell phones and laptops stashed behind him.

Surely there was nothing wrong with a brief pitstop before continuing on his way? He was a wanted outlaw, after all, and it was important for him to appear relaxed and confident at all times.

He pulled into the Pilot convenience store near the I-640 exit and went straight to the bathroom, heart pounding in anticipation of the party he was about to throw himself, perhaps even proud of the wisdom he’d shown in not doing this in a parked car like so many of his buddies….

An hour later he was still fast asleep on the bathroom floor — pants around his ankles and a trio of used syringes beside him — when a KPD officer was let into the room by the store manager. 

He was visibly disoriented, his pupils were dilated, and he was barely able to stay on his feet. He admitted using heroin. Some of the illicit opiate (plus a glass pipe and some boring, everyday pot) was found in a bag he’d carried into the store. It didn’t take long for the officer to learn that the car parked outside was stolen, the goods stored in it were also stolen, and the suspect was wanted on no fewer than 11 outstanding arrest warrants.

He was taken to the Knox County jail, where finding a private bathroom in which to get some “me time” is impossible, and booked on a slew of 30 misdemeanor and felony charges with combined bonds of close to $12,000.

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 Volume I Number 3 is Copyright 2020 by The Hard Knox Wire.