Police call to city parking lot leads to man’s arrest

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Carter County man faces criminal charges after police say they found him in possession of a firearm while under the influence after responding to a report of a man passed out inside a vehicle at a shopping center.

Officers of the Elizabethton Police Department arrested John Robert Isaacs, 39, of 182 Fitzsimmons Hill Road, Elizabethton, on Tuesday morning and charged him with public intoxication and possession of a handgun while under the influence.

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According to court documents, officers responded to the parking lot of Peeble’s after a 911 caller reported a man was passed out inside of a vehicle in the parking lot.

When EPD Officer Dustin Johnson arrived on the scene, he saw a vehicle matching the description given by the caller, and he saw a male subject, later identified as Isaacs, that appeared to be passed out.

“The male subject was leaned over in the seat, and his upper body was making erratic twitching movements,” Johnson said.

Out of concern for the man’s wellbeing, Johnson said he opened the driver’s door and woke the man up.

Johnson said Isaacs was sweating profusely, his hair was “soaking wet,” and he had difficulty speaking. At that time, Johnson said he asked Isaacs if he had taken any illegal substances and Isaacs responded that he had “eaten two Fentanyl patches” he had retrieved from a garbage can about two hours earlier.

While speaking with officers, Isaacs told them he had a firearm on his hip, Johnson said.

Officers retrieved a Smith and Wesson SD40, which Johnson said was loaded with 11 rounds in the magazine and a round in the chamber.

At that time, Johnson said, he placed Isaacs under arrest on charges of public intoxication and possession of a handgun while under the influence.

“Due to the potential of Mr. Isaacs’ condition worsening, I then transported him to Sycamore Shoals Hospital for medical clearance,” Johnson said. “While at Sycamore Shoals Hospital, ER staff located a chewed up Fentanyl patch inside of Mr. Isaacs’ mouth. Emergency Room staff then retrieved the Fentanyl patch and disposed of it.”

Johnson said hospital staff advised him that due to Isaacs’ condition he would be under medical observation for an extended period of time. Approximately one hour later, Johnson said, he was notified by hospital staff that Isaacs had signed himself out of the hospital against medical advice.

Johnson said he responded to the hospital and placed Isaacs into custody and transported him to the Carter County Detention Center.