Man arrested after struggling with officer during traffic stop


star staff
amorris@starhq.com

  A Bluff City man was arrested and charged with assault after he allegedly tried to flee from a traffic stop after an officer reached inside his vehicle to turn off the engine.
  James David Oliver, 18, 326 Turner Rd., Bluff City, was arrested late Saturday night by Tennessee Constable Harvey Shaffer and charged with aggravated assault.
  According to reports, Shaffer was observing southbound traffic on U.S. Highway 91 at the intersection of the road with U.S. Highway 19E when he heard a vehicle breaking traction on Lover's Lane. Shaffer then saw a 1992 gold Honda Accord driving in what he describes in his report as "a reckless manner" northbound on Lover's Lane and then turn onto the entrance ramp for north U.S. Highway 19E.
  After initiating a traffic stop on the vehicle near the intersection of Highway 19E and Old Lacey Hollow Road, Shaffer approached the vehicle and the driver was identified as Oliver. Shaffer also observed a 17-year-old female who was a passenger in the vehicle and noted that she appeared to be upset and crying. While speaking with the female, according to reports, she asked Shaffer to contact someone to come and pick her up.
  Oliver was still sitting inside the vehicle while Shaffer was speaking with the female juvenile. "The driver (Oliver) was instructed to turn the engine off repeatedly but Oliver just stared straight ahead without any response," states Shaffer in his report, adding that he then reached inside the vehicle to turn the ignition off.
  When Shaffer attempted to turn the ignition off, Oliver reportedly became belligerent and cursed at the officer and began fighting him for control of the ignition and the keys.
  "Oliver then put the vehicle in motion and (I) was in great fear of being badly injured or killed by the moving vehicle as (my) upper torso was mostly inside the vehicle," states Shaffer in his report, adding that he had to strike Oliver with his flashlight in order to stun him enough to be able to gain control over the keys to turn the vehicle's engine off. "Oliver continued to struggle with (me) for control of the ignition but (I) was able to eventually turn the vehicle's engine off and get the keys out of the ignition."
  Due to the fact that Shaffer had been placed in fear of serious injury or death, Oliver was charged with aggravated assault. He is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on Oct. 5.