CARYVILLE, TN (WLAF) – A Rocky Top man recently claimed he was lost and begged officer to not arrest him.
Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Crabtree responded to a call at 4:30 am on July 14 about a vehicle that was sitting in a driveway for about 30 minutes. While Crabtree was in route to the home, the homeowner called back and said the vehicle drove through her yard and parked by her garage.
Crabtree arrived and found a silver Jeep running with a man, who was later identified as Jason H. Byrge, in the driver’s seat. When asked what he was doing, Byrge said “I got lost. This is not my house. I was just turning around. Please don’t arrest me for DUI, I just got my license back,” according to a report from the sheriff’s department. Crabtree noticed Byrge was allegedly sweating very heavily, his eyes were watery, bloodshot and his speech was slurred. He also noticed a strong smell of alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle. When Crabtree ran Byrge’s license, they showed as valid, but dispatch advised about past history that included driving under the influence. As Crabtree went back to the vehicle, he found Byrge slumped over the seat trying to light a cigarette with the lighter upside down. When asked to step out of the vehicle, Byrge stumbled out and walked to the front of the patrol car and was uneasy on his feet almost falling a couple of times, according to the report. Byrge was given a series of field sobriety tests, and Crabtree determined that Byrge was not fit to be in operation of a motor vehicle and placed him under arrest. During this time, Byrge allegedly began saying “he was sorry he drove, and that he couldn’t believe he done this- he just got his license back.” At the jail when he was read the Tennessee Implied Consent paperwork he refused and said “This is how I’ll beat this. A trooper told me that.”
Byrge, 45, 134 Medford Lane, Rocky Top is charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and violation implied consent law. Byrge is free on a $9,000 bond and is due in court on Tuesday morning. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/22/2019-6AM)