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Man faces littering charge after police find beer bottles in creek

A Carter County man faces a criminal littering charge after police say he dumped approximately 100 beer bottles into a creek behind his home.

Deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Billy Jack Harrell, 63, of 108 Indian Drive, Johnson City, on Dec. 23 and charged him with aggravated criminal littering.

According to court documents, CCSO Sgt. Issac Rhea responded to Harrell’s home on Indian Drive in the Happy Valley community to investigate a report of littering at the residence.

When he arrived on the scene, Rhea said he walked behind the home to Buffalo Creek, which runs behind the residence.

“As I approached the stream I observed a Bud Light beer bottle lying on the ground at the bank,” Rhea said in the affidavit of complaint against Harrell. “On further investigation, I observed approximately one hundred plus Bud Light beer bottles all over the surface of the water stretched from the back of the residence to approximately 50 yards downstream.”

Rhea said he then went back to the home and spoke to the resident, whom he identified as Harrell.

“I asked Mr. Harrell if he knew anything about the beer bottles being in the stream. Mr. Harrell stated, ‘Yes, I put them there,’” Rhea said. “I asked Mr. Harrell why he threw them in the stream and he replied, ‘Because I’m stupid.’ Mr. Harrell further stated that they would be alright that after a big rain the bottles would be gone.”

Rhea said based on what he observed and the statements made by Harrell he placed the man under arrest on a charge of aggravated criminal littering and transported him to the Carter County Detention Center. Harrell was released later that same day after posting a $1,500 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Carter County General Sessions Court on Jan. 16, 2018.