Photo by Ben Benton / Chattanooga Times Free Press.
DUNLAP, TN (WRCB) -- Bledsoe County Sheriff James "Jimmy" Morris was arrested early Sunday morning in Sequatchie County after an altercation at a Dunlap restaurant.
Morris was taken into custody by Dunlap Police just after 3:45 a.m. on a charge of disorderly conduct after an incident at the Huddle House on Rankin Avenue.
Sheriff Morris did not return our calls to give his explanation of what happened, but Huddle House employees say they were shocked at what they saw.
"It all happened outside, nothing happened inside," said restaurant manager Chris Cross.
Cross said his employees called him in a panic around 3 o'clock this morning, claiming the Bledsoe County Sheriff was in a fight in the parking lot along with several other unidentified men and women.
"I mean he's an authority figure. He could actually have called dispatch down here and said hey there's a guy causing an issue," said Cross.
But that's not what happened. Instead, Cross's employees claim a man hit Sheriff Morris, who then hit the man back. But the arrest report doesn't describe a fight, just that Morris was taken away in cuffs, charged with disorderly conduct and booked at 3:45 a.m. He later bonded out of jail with a thousand dollars.
His first stop afterwards at around 6 o'clock in the morning? The Huddle House.
"When I came in this morning, the only two customers that were here were the Sheriff and a lady with the Sheriff and he had just gotten out of jail," said Cross
Cross also noted that Sunday was only the second time he'd seen Sheriff Morris. "Two weeks ago there was an incident." He claims officers were called out that time for fighting with the same man in the parking lot, but the Sequatchie County Jail doesn't have any record of Sheriff Morris being arrested before Sunday's incident.
Cross says it's created a lot of buzz in Sequatchie and Bledsoe counties. "He's still an authority figure. He's looked at as an authority figure in his county and not only in his county, but in our county as well."
Sheriff Morris is due in General Sessions Court December 21st on the disorderly conduct charge.