CORRYTON, Tennessee — A 38-year-old man with a history of driving while intoxicated faces several charges after ramming a woman's car and leading Knox County authorities on a chase Thursday morning, according to authorities.
When he finally stopped his Dodge Avenger, James Kenneth Bale was found with an open bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon, a Knox County Sheriff's Office report states.
Bale has four DUI convictions, according to a Sheriff's Office report, and was driving on a revoked license because of a prior DUI.
It all started when a woman called 911 to say a man had pulled up next to her in a parking lot and "made her feel uncomfortable." She pulled away but the man followed her onto Rutledge Pike, following closely on her rear bumper, then "ramming her car repeatedly," according to the report.
The car finally turned around, and she pulled into another parking lot to call police and wait for officers.
She told officers that she didn't know the man or what he was "harassing her." She complained of neck and shoulder pain from the impact of the collisions. She went to Parkwest Medical Center to be checked out, according to the report.
Deputies spotted him speeding about 7 a.m. on Rutledge Pike, according to a report. He was clocked going 77 mph in a 45-mph zone. Bale sped through a school zone.
The hood of his Dodge covered the windshield, the report states. The car traveled "all over the road," the report states.
With deputies in pursuit, he hit speeds as high as 80 mph and slowed down at times to speeds of 10 mph, according to the report.
Bale finally stopped in the 5300 block of Roberts Road in the Corryton area when he encountered a deputy blocking the way with his cruiser. He was slumped down in the driver's seat, according to KCSO.
"Officers were forced to remove Mr. Bale from the vehicle with minimal force and place him into custody," the report states.
He smelled heavily of alcohol and carried a bag of unmarked pills in his right pants pocket, according to the report. He was falling in and out of consciousness.
Because of his condition, he was taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center, but he declined further treatment. He was being held in Knox County custody.
Bales faces numerous charges, including DUI 5th Offense, Aggravated Assault, a misdemeanor assault charge and theft.
Those last two charges stem from what happened before he made contact with the woman in the car. A clerk at the Pilot on Rutledge Pike told officers that Bale was in the store eating and drinking without paying. She said he took a can of Red Bull, a fountain drink, biscuits, donuts, and various candy bars totally about $30.
According to the report, she tried to stop him from leaving the store and he shoved her out of the way.
One of Bale's first DUI convictions dates to December 2007, when authorities stopped him while driving a Honda Civic on Cumberland Avenue near 17th Street. He pleaded guilty at the time to DUI first offense, records show.
Records show Bale has a LaFollette address.