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Man arrested twice in two days on alcohol-related offenses

Staff Report • Apr 15, 2014 at 11:17 PM

Last week, a Jonesborough man was arrested twice in two days and charged with seven offenses that, police said, resulted from alcohol abuse.

On Thursday and Friday, Johnson City police arrested Robert Suit, 39, 4515 Cherokee Road, for two separate incidents, each of which was alleged to have involved alcohol.

On Thursday, police responded to a call of shoplifting at Food City, 509 N. State of Franklin Road. According to the arrest report, after their arrival, officers saw that store employees had detained a man, who they would later identify as Suit, for trying to leave the store with an 18-pack of beer for which he had not paid.

According to police, the employees said one of them followed him out to the parking lot and escorted him back to the store. When police spoke with Suit, they said his speech was slurred, his eyes were glassy, and he had an odor of alcohol on his breath. Police said that when they asked Suit if he had consumed any alcohol, he told them he had drank a 12-pack.

Suit was then arrested on charges of shoplifting — theft of property and public intoxication. He was taken to the Washington County Detention Center, and then appeared in Sessions Court at 10:30 Friday morning to face his charges.

More than seven hours later, however, police reported having another encounter with Suit after responding to a call of a hit-and-run near the intersection of University Parkway and State of Franklin Road. In a separate arrest report, police said the 911 caller was following a vehicle, a 2002 Ford Escort, that was alleged to have backed into the caller's vehicle and fled the scene.

Police said, during the pursuit, the Escort collided with another vehicle near the intersection of West Main and Broadway streets. After hitting the car, police said, the Escort continue to drive away, until it stopped near the intersection of Unaka Avenue and Broadway.

Upon stopping, police said, the Escort's driver, who was identified as Suit, had "a strong odor of an intoxicant" about him, and that he was "too intoxicated" to perform any field sobriety tests. Police said Suit agreed to have his blood drawn at Johnson City Medical Center, after which he was again taken to WCDC, this time on charges of driving under the influence, violation of the financial responsibility law, reckless endangerment, and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident.

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