A Maryville man declared he had the right to pull over wherever he wanted, but he was still arrested Sept. 15.
Madisonville Police Officer Colby Eaton said it was around 10:40 p.m. when he saw a blue Chevrolet parked at Ogles Car Wash after hours and ran a check on the license plate. It came back as having a registration that expired in July.
Eaton said as he pulled into the parking lot, the truck pulled out onto Highway 411, going south.
Eaton said he followed, turning on his lights, but the truck kept going. He turned on his siren then, but the driver, while not taking off, still kept going, bypassing several businesses and streets where he could have pulled over.
The truck then turned onto Ball Play Road, passed Sunset Drive and finally pulled into the parking lot of C&R Market and came to a stop.
Eaton said he got the driver, identified as Roger Tracy Bennett, out of the truck and patted him down, finding a cylinder object in one of his pockets.
When asked why he didn’t pull over, Bennett said by Tennessee law he had the right to pull over wherever he felt safe.
Eaton, after finding a woman in the truck had no warrants and letting her go, read Bennett his rights and told him he was under arrest for felony evading arrest. He then asked Bennett if there was anything in the truck they should be aware of before searching it.
Bennett said there wasn’t but when Eaton and other officers searched the car they allegedly found a tool bag with a black container that had eight hypodermic syringes and a makeshift tourniquet in it.
Eaton said he then opened the container he’d found on Bennett and found a white powder thought to be meth. He said Bennett was soaked in sweat and when asked, admitted he’d been using meth earlier. He also said the syringes were for a friend of his who is a severe diabetic.
Bennett, 57, Wilkinson Park, Maryville, was charged with possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia, evading arrest, insurance violation and driving an unregistered vehicle.