What started out as a routine traffic stop on St. Mary’s Road in Caryville early Saturday morning could have ended badly if not for the quick actions of a Washington County deputy.
The incident began as Deputy Curtis French stopped a vehicle on a routine traffic stop at approximately 1:30am. During the traffic stop he became aware of a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle at which time the three occupants were instructed to exit the vehicle. Willie Nettles, 55, of Caryville, began to flee on foot, attempting to elude the deputy. Deputy French soon caught Nettles in a nearby wooded area and tackled him. Once on the ground Nettles attempted to pull Deputy French’s firearm from the holster. Deputy French’s actions prevented Nettles from removing his weapon by quickly overpowering Nettles and placing him in handcuffs.
During the investigation Deputy French located a “crack pipe” and the magazine to his firearm on the ground. Three bags of suspected crack cocaine were also located nearby.
EMS was dispatched and responded to the scene where Nettles received medical treatment for injuries sustained in the altercation.
Nettles was arrested and booked into Washington County Jail on the charges of Aggravated Battery on Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting Officer with Violence, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Additional charges are expected, pending further investigation.
“Our deputies are faced with split second life or death situations every day. Their continuous training and preparation is what keeps them alive,” states Sheriff Kevin Crews. “The public we serve expect us to keep the bad guys out of our homes, our cars and our local businesses and we work diligently in making sure that is done in the safest way possible.”
If you have any tips, or knowledge of crimes being committed, please contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 850-638-6111. You may also contact them anonymously by calling 850-638-TIPS (8477) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.