|On March 10, 2016 at approximately 6:00 AM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to a citizen complaint of a motorist who was passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle in the roadway at the intersection of Stone Drive and Gibson Mill Road in Kingsport. Upon arrival, the vehicle was still in the roadway, still running and in gear, and the snoozing driver had a half-eaten Hardee’s biscuit in his lap. The responding officers immediately recognized the driver as Christopher A. Bunche.
Mr. Bunche was well known to the officers due to numerous prior encounters and multiple outstanding warrants for his arrest. He is particularly notorious for resisting and evading arrest. The officers opened the driver’s door, turned off the ignition in the interest of safety, and then attempted to awaken and arrest Mr. Bunche. As soon as he awoke, he attempted to force his way between the officers and flee on foot, but the officers were able to successfully overcome his resistance and take him into custody. Mr. Bunche damaged one of the officer’s uniforms during the struggle.
During the encounter, the officers noticed that Mr. Bunche’s speech was slow and slurred, and that his breath emitted a strong odor of alcohol. In plain view in an open ashy tray inside the vehicle was a plastic baggie containing approximately eight (8) grams of a white rock substance believed to be crack cocaine. Items of unlawful drug paraphernalia including wire mesh screens, straws, and baggies were also found in the vehicle. Mr. Bunche was found to be in possession of $300 in cash that was seized as suspected profits from prior drug transactions.
Mr. Bunche was first transported to a local medical facility to submit to a blood test and then to the Kingsport City Jail for confinement. He is being charged in this incident with Possession of a Schedule I Drug (Crack Cocaine) for Resale, Possession of Unlawful Drug Paraphernalia, Driving Under the Influence (2nd Offense), Driving on a Revoked License, Resisting Arrest, Vandalism, and Failure to Comply with the Financial Responsibility Law (No Insurance). He currently remains incarcerated pending arraignment.
In addition to these new charges, Mr. Bunche was arrested on five (5) pre-existing outstanding warrants with nine (9) additional charges from earlier incidents involving the Kingsport Police Department and the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office. These pre-existing charges include Failure to Appear, Evading Arrest (2 counts), Felony Evading Arrest in a Vehicle, Driving on a Revoked License (2 counts), Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Collision, Reckless Driving, and Failure to Exercise Due Care.