New Details: Bledsoe Co. Sheriff arrested in restaurant fight
DUNLAP, TN (WRCB) - Channel 3 is learning more about the fight that landed the Bledsoe County Sheriff behind bars in Sequatchie County.
Sheriff Jimmy Morris was arrested Sunday for disorderly conduct, along with five other men and women fighting at the Dunlap Huddle House around 2 o'clock Sunday morning.
Bledsoe County Sheriff Jimmy Morris is still not returning our calls and wasn't taking visitors at his office Monday.
Channel 3 had a brief phone conversation with the man accused of exchanging punches with him. Shannon Bach said he barley knows the sheriff and it's all being "blown out of proportion."
Dunlap Police say they had good reason to arrest the men and say this wasn't their first run-in with them.
"There was arguing, fussing and fighting that happened on the inside," Dunlap Huddle House Manager, Chris Cross says.
Huddle House employees say tensions were high when Bledsoe County Sheriff Jimmy Morris and Dunlap resident Shannon Bach crossed paths there Sunday morning.
"Some words were exchanged. It's our understanding it was over a cigarette," Dunlap Police Lt. Coy Swanger says.
Employees called Dunlap Police when the men took it out to the parking lot and got physical.
"Some who are claiming that Mr. Bach started the altercation, you have other witnesses that are claiming that Sheriff Morris started the altercation," Lt. Swanger says.
Lt. Swanger says there were around 50 witnesses, but they got too many different stories. And because officers didn't see it for themselves, assault is hard to prove, but not disorderly conduct.
There was a whole group throwing punches and four others were arrested on disorderly conduct as well: Denise Summers, Jerry Summers, Laurie Rutledge, and Jacqueline Lee. Though, officers say they seemed to be arguing over something else.
"It's a bad situation for everybody involved," Lt. Swanger says.
It's a situation made worse when they realized they'd have to handcuff a sheriff.
"It does change things. Officers try to go the extra mile to make sure they've got their I's dotted and T's crossed to make sure everything is on the up and up," Lt. Swanger says.
"He's looked at as an authority figure not only in his county, but in our county as well," Cross says.
Huddle House employees say they had to call police on the same pair several weeks ago.
"Officers were called to the Huddle House. There was nothing physical and everybody was made to leave," Lt. Swanger says.
Dunlap Police say they're still taking witness statements, but say regardless of who threw the first punch, one of them should've called police before it got to that point.
The disorderly conduct charge is a misdemeanor that carries up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine up to $50.