TWRA Officer Joshua Landrum was attempting to make his bother proud Saturday when his eagle eyes alerted to a jet ski that had “stencil outline” letters for the boat ID, instead of the reportedly TCA required “block letters in contrasting colors,” also noting there was not the proper spacing between the letters. As his adrenaline pumped at the possibility of violations and fines he could issue before the season ends, the wildlife enforcement officer had his biggest moment of the day and initiated a stop on the vessel, which was operated by 52-year-old Christopher Ferrara. He asked Ferrara how long he had been out and how much he had to drink, to which Ferrera replied “man, we have been out here all day having fun,” — a concept possibly not fully understood or appreciated by Landrum. Ferrara completed field sobriety tests, which he reportedly performed poorly on. He refused blood or breath testing and was jailed for BUI, implied consent, and those pesky boat identification numbers.
TWRA Agent Joshua Landrum observed 34-year-old Benjamin Allen Bearden attempting to navigate his pontoon-style vessel to the fuel dock at the Elm Hill Marina on the 4th of July, and notes Bearden was having “extreme difficulty” maneuvering the boar and nearly hit both the dock and another boat before he was stopped. Bearden reportedly appeared extremely intoxicated and stated he drank “a couple of margaritas.” After performing poorly on field sobriety tests he was transported to booking and charged with BUI and reckless/negligent operation of a boat.
TWRA Officer Joshua Landrum says 62-year-old David Alan Rank was having too much fun near the Elm Hill Marina Sunday as he observed him doing donuts near the no-wake zone without a life jacket properly buckled. As he spoke to Rank, he says it was apparent he was intoxicated with slurred speech and a strong smell of alcohol about him. When asked how much he had to drink today, he stated he had “one or two drinks” on his daughter’s boat.
He performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was taken to jail.
TWRA Officers observed 42-year-old Lucille Gonyea & 58-year-old Dominic Napolitan on a jet ski near Hamilton Creek while visibly intoxicated. Dominic was operating the vessel with a half-worn life jacket while holding a styrofoam cup he attempted to hide when the officer approached. Both parties reportedly reeked of alcohol, and Dominic performed poorly on field sobriety tests. TWRA Officer Joshua Landrum took both parties into custody.
When 48-year-old Kristie Crabtree was stopped on her jet skit just outside of the party cove area of Percy Priest Lake Saturday for not having her registration number property displayed, she retrieved her registration from her dry box, which also contained several other items. TWRA Officer Joshua Landrum says he could smell marijuana coming from the box, and asked her to hand it to him, which she did. As the officer observed a blunt in the box, he asked her how much she had smoked that day. In response, Crabtree immediately grabbed the small mostly smoked blunt and tossed it into the water, destroying the evidence — while stating “oh, that’s just a little thing!” Crabtree admitted to smoking every morning when she wakes up and that she had alcohol she was currently drinking while operating the jet ski.
TWRA Officer Joshua Landrum was patrolling Percy Priest Lake Sunday when he noticed a pontoon boat in the ‘no wake’ zone without any registration numbers properly displayed. As he encountered and spoke to the boat operator, 31-year-old Tyler Ruby, he noticed he reeked of alcohol and had slurred speech and glassy eyes. Ruby admitted to drinking “2 or 3 beers” and smoking marijuana prior to operating the boat. After performing poorly on field sobriety tests, Ruby was transported to booking on multiple charges.
TWRA Boating Officer Joshua Landrum says he noticed a pontoon boat traveling across Percy Priest Lake at 2-3 mph Saturday with no one at the steering wheel. He noticed the two occupants of the boat were seated at the very front of the pontoon boat talking, and 48-year-old Millard Byrd only returned to the driver’s console after the blue lights were activated on the TWRA boat, at which time he put the throttle in neutral and turned off the ignition. Landrum says the boat operator was obviously intoxicated, and when asked to put on a life jacket, he kept trying to put on a woman’s life jacket, which was much smaller and would not fit him. After performing poorly on field sobriety tests, he was taken into custody on multiple charges.
An officer with the TWRA says 27-year-old Taylor Hampton Elliott gave the open can of White Claw he was drinking to a nearby swimmer as he approached him and his jet ski on Percy Priest Lake near Party Cove this weekend. Elliott is charged with being heavily intoxicated while recklessly operating a jet ski. BUI charges now carry the same weight as DUI charges in Tennessee. He is free on pre-trial release.
At 6 p.m. Saturday on Percy Priest Lake, TWRA Officer Joshua Landrum asked 24-year-old Jet Skier Orrie Reed Whitton when he last smoked marijuana. Landrum replied: “when the sun was still up”. The agent reminded him the sun had been up for the last 12 hours, and wouldn’t set for another 2. Landrum was jailed on 5 charges this weekend, and he reportedly told the officer he “doesn’t care what happens to him”.
29-year-old Chris Perrine was charged with boating under the influence when an officer halted his vessel after noticing he had beer cans within his reach. Perrine admitted to drinking 3 White Claws.