Where there’s smoke … there’s a deputy asking questions

Published 7:36 am Friday, June 6, 2014

There is a classic rock song that talks about “smokin’ in the boys’ room,” but what happens when authorities believe you smoked in the girls’ room?
Well, for one Elizabethton woman, the answer is: you go to jail.
Ruth Ann Lewis, 51, 104 Dan Berry Hill Road, Apt. 16, was arrested shortly before 6 p.m. on Wednesday by Carter County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Nick Andes at a popular lake recreation area and charged with public intoxication and simple possession of marijuana.
“I was advised by Capt. Patrick Johnson that while he was circling Shook Branch a bystander advised him that a female subject was smoking marijuana in the public restroom with a small child,” Andes said in his report on the incident. Andes said the bystander then pointed the woman out to Johnson, who then went to speak to the woman indicated by the bystander and was able to identify her as Lewis.
“As I approached Capt. Johnson I observed the female to be unsteady and acting rather unusual,” Andes said in the report. “Ms. Lewis advised Capt. Johnson and I that she too had smelled a strange smell in the bathroom but did not know what it was.”
According to the report, Lewis said she had been smoking cigarettes but when she showed her cigarette pack to officers it had a strong odor of marijuana.
“I then asked to see Ms. Lewis’ identification and as she was wildly going through her pocketbook a small clear plastic baggy flew out onto the ground. Capt. Johnson then asked what had been inside. Ms. Lewis stated that a single Valium was in the baggy but that she had already snorted it,” Andes said in the report. “I then asked Ms. Lewis how she was planning to get home since she had already used Valium — unprescribed — and marijuana. Ms. Lewis then stated she had planned on having the other adult with her drive but when questioned the other adult had no valid license.
“I then observed in plain view a marijuana cigarette on the ground behind Ms. Lewis’ bag. When confronted with the cigarette Ms. Lewis confirmed that she had been smoking marijuana in the bathroom while in the presence of the small child.”
At that time, Lewis was placed into custody and was transported to the Carter County Detention Center, where she was later released on bond.

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