Maryville man arrested after Loudon chase
After being shot with a Taser and leading police on a car chase, a Maryville man was stopped at gunpoint in Loudon County with a wad of cash, a slapjack and nearly 7 grams of meth in the front seat of his car, according to reports.
Charles Edward Blankenship, 45, of Maryville, was charged by Loudon County Sheriff’s Office with evading arrest, resisting arrest, manufacture and sale of a controlled substance, possession of a prohibited weapon, and tampering with or fabricating evidence. He was being held on a total $110,00 bond at Loudon County Jail.
According to a Loudon County report, a Loudon County deputy pulled over Blankenship’s 1999 silver Buick Century on Highway 72 Saturday for an alleged seat belt violation.
Reports said Blankenship was initially cooperative, but grew less so when he was told that his vehicle might be towed because his auto insurance had expired.
Reports also said that a routine driver’s license check revealed that Blankenship had “Aryan gang ties.” That’s when the encounter began to spiral out of control, as
Blankenship refused a search of his vehicle, then refused again when asked to get out of his car.
Reports said the deputy believed Blankenship was moving to escape. He pulled his Taser and hit Blankenship with a charge, but the shot didn’t stop the Maryville resident from starting his car and taking off.
A chase ensued, according to reports, in which both vehicles reached speeds in excess of 100 mph. At one point, the deputy reported that Blankenship made a dangerous pass on a double-yellow line, before pulling into a drive on Highway 72.
The deputy followed, and pulled his gun on Blankenship, reports said. The rest of the encounter proceeded without serious incident, though the deputy reported finding what appeared to be crystal methamphetamine scattered across the front seat of the Buick, along with a “large amount of cash” and a slapjack. Tests later confirmed the substance in Blankenship’s car as 6.6 grams of methamphetamine.
Blankenship was also cited for lack of insurance, not wearing a seat belt, and improper passing.