Your brain on crack cocaine (and poop)


Your brain on crack cocaine 

Most of us, when we get wasted on the chemical intoxicant of our choice, actively try to avoid interacting with members of the law enforcement community. In fact, we’ll usually go to ridiculous lengths to avoid even seeing a cop while we’re inebriated. This means we don’t call the police department to chat when we’re bored, we stay the hell away from police cruisers, and when someone tells us there’s a roadblock we go to the opposite end of town.

What we never, never, NEVER do is smoke a whole mess o’ crack and then drive to the Knox County Detention Facility on Maloneyville Road to hang out in front of the building, babbling nonsense until some cop decides we might not be a fatigue-birthed hallucination after all and checks us out. 

Yeah, well, we may never do that …. but someone else did, and a couple of hours shy of sunset on a Saturday night, no less.

That “someone else” was a 40-year-old man who drove to the jail late in the afternoon of March 20. It’s not known exactly how long he hung out in the parking lot and front walkway, but someone eventually reported an intoxicated male and a deputy was dispatched to the scene (the corrections officers who work at the jail aren’t certified police officers and aren’t trained or equipped to make arrests). 

According to the ensuing report, the man told the officer that “he was at his mother’s residence when there were two males walking around outside of the residence. The arrestee could not give me the address of his mother’s residence and when asked began to give me a description of the males and then stopped as though he lost track of what he was talking about.”

After several minutes of conversation, the man “admitted to smoking crack today before coming to the Detention Facility,” the report says. It turned out the guy was homeless and the deputy eventually opted to walk him into the building for booking. His vehicle, a Hyundai Santa Fe, was towed because it was parked in a handicapped spot. 

Crack. It’s bad stuff. Don’t do it.

A giant named “Andre” weaponized his poop 

A Tales of the Scruffy City standardized police report, designed to help interpret those  certain “special” reports that are filed every now and then by local law enforcement….

The time: 12:05 p.m March 27

The location: Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility on Maloneyville Road (aka Knox County Detention Facility)

The suspect: 1 male inmate, first name “Andre,” 39 years old, 6’8” tall, 230 pounds

The offense: Starting shit with guards

The victim: 3 guards 

Arrestee (s): same as suspect

Quote:  “Inmate (name redacted) had thrown feces on Officer (redacted), Officer (redacted), and Officer (redacted) out of a shampoo bottle and was making threats toward officers to fight them”

Contraband: Um, poop (?); 1 shampoo bottle 

Criminal charge(s):  3 counts of aggravated assault, a felony 

Actual narrative (quoted directly from police report): This somewhat confusing report doesn’t follow conventional rules of storytelling — you know, that it proceed from a beginning point through a linear series of events before somehow being resolved. Told in a first person plural voice, it sets the stage well enough by starting with three corrections officers “working our assigned posts ….as unit facility security.” The next sentence has them called to a housing unit to supervise “Andre,” a 6-foot-8-inch, 230 pound prisoner who is supposed to be “cleaning fecal matter out of his cell.” At this point in the narrative, time gets a little wonky as it shifts suddenly to a third-person present voice: “Inmate (name redacted) had thrown feces on Officer (redacted), Officer (redacted), and Officer (redacted) out of a shampoo bottle and was making threats toward officers to fight them.” By the time the next sentence rolls around, one of the officers has Andre “into the prone position on his bunk and applied wrist restraint.” This officer then  “relinquished his control” to another officer. At this point the report leaps all the way into a typical postscript, stating simply that the inmate is going to be charged with “aggravated assault on a police officer times three.” If convicted, the inmate could face up to 15 years in prison, which is some serious shit for a bunch of…..never mind. 

As, um, challenging as the report’s structure is, we don’t hold it against the author(s). After all, the report can’t be anywhere near as confusing as Andre the freakin’ Giant throwing poop at you.

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 April 9, 2021