Cab ride for man ends in trip to hospital, criminal charges

Published 10:30 am Friday, September 12, 2014

What started out as a cab ride ended with a trip to a local hospital for a 55-year-old man and criminal charges being filed against him.
Talmadge Hughes, 55, address unknown, was issued a criminal summons in lieu of arrest by Elizabethton Police Department Cpl. Sarah Ellison charging him with public intoxication, simple possession of Schedule VI drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft of services.
According to a report by Ellison, the officers were dispatched to the parking lot of a city service station on a report of an intoxicated and disorderly male subject in a cab. Ellison said when she arrived on scene she spoke with the driver of the cab, who was standing next to the cab, and observed a man, identified as Hughes, sitting in the front seat of the cab turning the car stereo up loudly.
Ellison said the driver reported he had picked Hughes up in Erwin and was bringing him to Elizabethton but Hughes had not provided him with the drop off address.
“He advised that Hughes’ level of intoxication and disorderly nature had increased during the transport and he couldn’t understand him well enough to get an address for a final destination,” Ellison said, adding she was “familiar with” Hughes and knew he had lived at a residence on Locust Street.
“Hughes remained in the cab and was transported to the Locust Street address,” Ellison said, adding Hughes was “extremely intoxicated,” his speech was “nearly unintelligible,” and he was extremely unsteady on his feet. “Upon arrival (I) was attempting to assist Hughes to pay the cab fare and with Hughes’ permission began searching his pockets for a form of payment.”
Ellison said she located a credit/debit card in Hughes’ wallet which he said was for the payment of the cab fare, which totaled $42.75. The officer said the cab driver then attempted to process the card for payment but the card wad declined.
As Ellison continued to help Hughes search for a method of payment for the cab fare, she said she located approximately 10 grams of marijuana in a plastic bag in one of Hughes’ pants pockets but was unable to locate any other means for Hughes to pay for the cab fare.
“(I) attempted to contact family and friends to assist Hughes in satisfying the debt and be responsible for his welfare,” Ellison said. “No other solution could be reached. (I) then discovered that Hughes had been evicted from the Locust Street address and no other residential location was found.”
Ellison said she requested emergency medical services personnel to respond to their location due to Hughes’ “extremely intoxicated state” and Hughes was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. While at the hospital, Ellison said, it was determined Hughes would be held for observation.
Hughes was then issued with a criminal summons and is scheduled to appear in Carter County General Sessions Court on Oct. 20.

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