LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – A non-working brake light on a black 2010 Chrysler minivan prompted a traffic stop by a La Follette Police Officer.

It was dusk Tuesday when LPD Detective-Sergeant Noah Riggs saw the minivan on East Central Avenue near south 8th Street. Riggs followed the vehicle as it turned onto South Cumberland Avenue and soon made the traffic stop at the East Beech Street intersection.

The driver of the minivan, a man out of Knoxville, gave Det.-Sgt. Riggs permission to search the vehicle as Officer Jesse Ferguson arrived to assist. Ferguson went to the passenger side front door and asked the man, later identified as Claude Collins of La Follette, to step out of the minivan. As Officer Ferguson patted down Collins for weapons, he located a pocket knife in Collins right front pocket, removed it and placed the pocket knife on top of the minivan.

After the discovery of the pocket knife, Collins ran from the vehicle, and Officer Ferguson pursued him on foot. Ferguson details in his report that Collins ran between two houses and that he soon caught up with Collins going hands on to gain control and place Collins into custody.

Once caught, Collins kept his arms and hands underneath him on the ground and refused to comply, based on Ferguson’s account. Ferguson picked up Collins attempting to place him against the side of a house but was unsuccessful. Collins allegedly began to run again, stopped in the yard and attempted to strike Officer Ferguson in the face with a closed fist as both men went to the ground. Det.-Sgt. Riggs caught up with the pair to assist Ferguson, and the officers had to take Collins down with force, and that’s when Collins began to comply and was taken into custody, according to the report from the LPD.

Officer Shane Tielman and Sergeant Aaron Adkins located illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia as they assisted in the case. A small baggie containing a crystal-like substance was allegedly found in Collins front pants pocket. In the area around where the take down occurred, a large baggie containing a white powder and yellow rocks was found. A white tube with crystal-like residue was also discovered. The drugs listed in the police report that were confiscated are Fentanyl, crack cocaine and Methamphetamines.

Collins was evaluated at the La Follette Medical Center and released into police custody. He was arrested and booked into the Campbell County Jail where Collins remains housed this morning without bond. Collins is expected to be arraigned today, and has a court date of March 2 scheduled, according to jail records.

Collins, 59, 704 South Cumberland Avenue, La Follette, was charged with evading arrest, resisting-stop-frisk-halt-arrest or search, assault against a first responder or nurse, tampering with or fabricating evidence, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia along with a hold for Sevier and Jefferson Counties. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/23/2023-6AM)