BLOUNTVILLE — The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was terminated after being arrested on a DUI charge was allegedly found vomiting on himself, repeatedly refused to stop kicking the inside of a squad car, and berated the arresting trooper for costing him his job.
Samuel Monroe Bledsoe, 47, also allegedly tried to slam a squad car door on a trooper and was placed in a “K-9 cage” to prevent injury to himself or state property.
The information became available Tuesday with the release of a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer’s arrest report and Bristol Sessions Court affidavit.
Trooper David Osborne arrested Bledsoe for a first DUI offense on Friday night. Osborne was responding to a report of a possible intoxicated driver near southbound mile marker 68 of Interstate 81.
According to court records, dispatch advised a Tennessee Department of Transportation HELP truck driver called to report finding a male driver who was “vomiting on himself and seemed very intoxicated.” The HELP truck operator said he had stopped to assist the driver with a flat tire.
Upon arrival at the scene, Osborne said he found one man lying facedown in the snow beside the car with the flat tire. He was identified as Bledsoe’s father-in-law, a passenger. Due to his extreme level of intoxication, he was released to a woman identified only as “Mrs. Bledsoe.”
The TDOT HELP truck driver pointed out Samuel Bledsoe as the driver when he arrived at the scene. Osborne said he found Bledsoe, apparently sleeping, in the front passenger seat of his wife’s car, which was also at the scene. Osborne said he opened the door and identified himself. Noting a strong odor of alcohol on Bledsoe, he asked him to step out to perform field sobriety tests. Bledsoe agreed.
Osborne said Bledsoe didn’t perform the field sobriety tests as instructed, appearing to have difficulty with following directions and nearly falling down several times. One of the tests was explained to him 18 times before he attempted it, then performed it poorly, Osborne said.
Before and during the field sobriety tests, Bledsoe repeatedly identified himself as a Sullivan County deputy and asked to be taken home. Troopers told him they couldn’t do that.
On the way to his patrol car, Osborne said Bledsoe nearly fell, had to be caught and was helped the rest of the way. Bledsoe first said he drank one beer, then admitted to another officer, Trooper Robert Greer, that he drank whiskey with his father-in-law “due to his father-in-law wanting to drink.”
No alcohol was found in Bledsoe’s car. There was some vomit on the driver’s side and on the ground outside the driver’s door as well as on Bledsoe’s clothes, Osborne said.
When the troopers asked him what happened, Bledsoe said he’d been driving and the tire blew out. He provided that answer a second time after being given Miranda warnings.
He was arrested for a first offense of DUI and placed in the back of Greer’s cruiser. At that time, Bledsoe allegedly tried to slam the door on a third trooper who was standing in the way.
En route to Bristol Regional Medical Center for a blood test, Greer had to pull over twice because Bledsoe was kicking the cage and the door of the cruiser. After the second stop, Osborne said he got approval to transfer Bledsoe to the back of his patrol unit, “due to the K-9 cage being smaller.” It left Bledsoe with little room to hurt himself or state property, Osborne noted.
At the hospital, Bledsoe said he “wanted to talk with a supervisor,” adding that he thought a supervisor would let him go home. Osborne said Bledsoe told him, “I hope you are proud of yourself for this and costing me my job.”
Osborne said he told Bledsoe that he “probably saved his life due to his intoxication, or prevented him from possibly hurting someone else.” He then delivered Bledsoe to the Sullivan County Jail.
Bledsoe was terminated from the SCSO on Monday following an internal investigation and review of the incident.