2 John Does arrested following traffic stop
Published 9:17 am Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Police arrested a pair of men Friday evening following a traffic stop, but it wasn’t until later that officers were able to identify the men.
Officers of the Elizabethton Police Department initially arrested the men using “John Doe” warrants, a legal process used by police when a suspect’s identity cannot be positively confirmed at the time charges are placed. Officers were later able to positively identify the two men — one from Jonesborough and one from Spruce Pine, N.C.
Officers arrested Virgilio Hernandez, 43, of 1010 Conklin Road, Jonesborough, on Friday night and charged him with public intoxication.
Officers also arrested Jose Silva-Alejo, 25, of 196 Mica St., Spruce Pine, N.C., and charged him with driving under the influence.
Around 8:15 p.m. on Friday, EPD Cpl. Ryan Brackett was on patrol on West G Street when he saw a black Chevrolet Trailblazer coming from Gap Creek Road run the red light and make a left turn onto G Street. Brackett then stopped the vehicle and found a male driver and male passenger inside the SUV.
“The driver would not answer any of my questions, but the passenger would answer for him,” Brackett said, adding he saw open containers of alcohol and beer inside the vehicle.
When Brackett asked to see the driver’s license, registration and insurance information, Brackett said the man handed him a fake Mexican identification card.
“The male refused to answer any questions and would not look in my direction,” Brackett said, adding he could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from inside the vehicle.
Brackett asked the man to step out of the vehicle, but was unable to have the man complete any field sobriety tests due to a language barrier. Based on his observations of the man’s driving and his condition when officers tried speaking with him, Brackett charged the man with driving under the influence.
“I could not positively identify the man so a John Do warrant was completed until his true identity could be completed,” Brackett said.
Officers at the scene also spoke with the passenger in the vehicle, who identified himself as Francisco Hernandez but could not provide any identification. The passenger told officer he had never obtained a Tennessee identification card and that his Mexican identification had been stolen recently in Johnson City.
When the passenger stepped out the SUV, EPD Officer Paul Pritchard said he was unsteady on his feat and smelled like an alcoholic beverage.
Officers charged the passenger with public intoxication and, because his identity could not be confirmed, filed a John Doe warrant on him as well.
Both men were taken to the Carter County Detention Center where they were booked in on the John Doe warrants.
Some time after the men were arrested, officers were able to confirm the driver’s identity as Jose Silva-Alejo and the passenger’s identity as Virgilio “Francisco” Hernandez.
Silva-Alejo and Hernandez were released from custody after posting bond on Sunday. Silva-Alejo is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on Jan. 12, 2016, while Hernandez is set to appear in General Sessions Court on Jan. 26, 2016.