Woman faces multiple charges after police say she fell asleep at red light

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Johnson City woman faces multiple charges after a police officer said he found her asleep in her car at a traffic light early Tuesday morning.

Officers of the Elizabethton Police Department arrested Natasha James, 33, 512 Swadley Road, Johnson City, Tuesday morning and charged her with driving under the influence, violation of the implied consent law, possession of Schedule II drugs, possession of Schedule III drugs, possession of Schedule IV drugs, introduction of contraband into a penal facility, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a handgun while under the influence.

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According to police reports, EPD Capt. Anthony Buck was traveling on Milligan Highway around 1:40 a.m. As he approached the intersection of that road and Highway 67, he pulled in behind a multicolored Pontiac Grand Am which was waiting for the light to change.

“When the light changed to green, the car sat at the light and did not move,” Buck said, adding he then turned on his emergency lights and approached the car to check on the driver.

Buck said he saw that the driver, who was later identified as James, was asleep, the car was in gear, and James had her foot on the brake.

“I knocked on the window, and the driver awoke in a startled manner,” Buck said, adding when he asked James what she was doing she responded that she was tired.

Buck noted that James appeared to be “very groggy” and he asked her to perform a series of field sobriety tests. According to Buck, James performed poorly on the tests and refused to submit to chemical testing to determine the presence of any alcohol or drugs in her system.

When officers conducted an inventory of James’ vehicle prior to it being towed, Buck said officers found a .22 caliber revolver and ammunition in the driver’s side floorboard. The officers also located a purse containing drug paraphernalia and a pill fob containing three different kinds of prescription medication.

“When we arrived at the jail, I asked (James) if she had anything illegal such as a weapon or drugs before entering the jail, and also advised her now was the time to tell me. (James) stated she did not,” Buck said. “While at the police department, I received a phone call stating one of the jail employees had found some contraband.”

Buck said when he arrived back at the jail one of the corrections officers said while getting James dressed out she located what appeared to be drugs that she said James was attempting to conceal in her bra.