Police: Johnson City man swallowed crack, assaulted Elizabethton policeman during traffic stop

John Thompson • Feb 18, 2014 at 3:54 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A Johnson City man was arrested Sunday on four charges, including assaulting an Elizabethton policeman following a traffic stop.

Anthony Steven Collins, 51, 603 E. Mountcastle Drive, Johnson City, appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court on Tuesday on charges of aggravated assault, tampering with evidence, resisting arrest and no brake lights. Judge John Walton set bond at $1,000 and ordered him to be back in court with an attorney on April 15.

Officer John Bulla said the incident began a few minutes after midnight on Sunday on the Milligan Highway, when he saw Collins driving an Oldsmobile 88 with burned out brake light. Bulla said a check on Collins' license number came back not on file.

Officer Trevor Salyer stopped the Oldsmobile. Bulla said Collins appeared nervous in the car while officers were checking his driver's license status. He said Collins' hands were trembling.

Bulla asked Collins if there was anything illegal in the car. At that time, he said he noticed Collins chewing a white substance. Bulla ordered him to spit it out, but said Collins turned away and attempted to swallow.

Bulla said he used a pressure point to prevent Collins from swallowing the substance. He said Collins began to resist and pulled away from him. Bulla said he opened the car door and kept trying to prevent Collins from swallowing.

He said Collins then placed the car in drive while the officer was partially inside the vehicle. He said Collins was also resisting and attempting to push Bulla out of the car.

Bulla said he feared for his safety if Collins did place the vehicle in motion. He said he used two hand strikes to Collins' face to gain compliance. He then turned the ignition switch off and placed Collins on the ground.

Collins was transported to Sycamore Shoals Hospital, Bulla said, after admitting to swallowing crack cocaine.

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