ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – A man driving through a Taco Bell parking lot without a front tire on his vehicle was arrested after he bit a police officer’s finger during a field sobriety test, according to the Elizabethton Police Department.
EPD reported that officers stopped a Blue Jeep Cherokee Wednesday night after noticing there was no tire on the front passenger side of the vehicle.
Officers followed the Jeep as it sped through the parking lot of Taco Bell and on to West Elk Avenue, according to the release, and initiated a traffic stop.
The driver, later identified as Nicholas Scott Oliver, 26, smelled “strongly of alcoholic beverage” when officers talked to him, the release said, and seemed confused and disoriented.
According to EPD, he told officers that he’d been having car problems, but didn’t know that the Jeep was missing a tire. The reporting officer also noted that Oliver was wearing his jacket inside out.
Oliver was “very unsteady on his feet” as he exited the Jeep for a field sobriety test, the release said, and had to sit in the front of the police cruiser for part of the test.
At once point during the test, Oliver tried to run away, the release said, and he was “taken to the ground” as he resisted being handcuffed.
During the struggle, he bit another officer on the finger, the release said. He suffered “minor contusions” during the struggle, the release said.
A check of Oliver’s driver’s license revealed that his license was revoked for two DUI offenses, according to EPD, with a prior conviction for driving on a suspended license in June.
Oliver refused to be transported by Emergency Medical Services, the release said, so the officers placed him in the back of the cruiser where he gave consent to a blood test.
During a search of his vehicle, officers said they found a bag with what appeared to be marijuana, later weighed at 12.7 grams, a small glass smoking device covered in residue, and a baggie containing what appeared to be THC wax.
Other smoking items were found in the vehicle, the release said.
Officers charged Oliver with a third offense of driving under the influence, a second offense of driving on a revoked license, evading arrest, resisting arrest, simple possession of Schedule IV drugs and unlawful drug paraphernalia.
Officers took him to Sycamore Shoals Hospital for a blood draw, and then to the Carter County Detention Center on bonds totaling $3,500.
He’s scheduled to appear in Carter County General Sessions Court on Jan. 28.