Reported disturbance results in drug arrest, police say


Police responding to a reported disturbance behind a business at The Pines mall Wednesday night arrested a man who ran from them, then allegedly found drugs in the pockets of his shorts.

Joseph Christie, 34, of Salem, had an active warrant from Benton and was reportedly involved in a disturbance involving his girlfriend, Ashley Evans, 24, according to a probable cause affidavit from Vice and Narcotics Detective Kenneth Evans.

Evans reported that police were sent to the disturbance behind the Red Lobster restaurant at 7:43 p.m., and when they arrived, saw two women, one of them later identified as Ashley Evans, and a man later identified as Christie talking on the passenger side of a vehicle.

Police reported that Ashley Evans appeared to be upset, her eyes were watery, her makeup was smeared and she appeared to have been crying. The report also indicated that Evans had visible bruises, scratches and red marks to her face, chest, right arm and right leg.

Detective Evans reported that Christie said he and Ashley Evans had been arguing and she tried to jump out of his vehicle while it was moving, and the door closed on her foot. He also said he had grabbed her to try and keep her from getting out of the vehicle.

The other woman, who was not identified in the police report, said she had gotten off work and saw the disturbance, and Ashley Evans asked her to stay there until the police arrived.

Police reported that when they learned that Christie was wanted by Benton authorities, they told him to put his hands on the hood of his car, and he did, then fled and had to be chased down and handcuffed.

During a search of his person, police allegedly found a crack pipe in his right upper pocket of the cargo shorts he was wearing, and various pills in two plastic bags in the pockets of the shorts.

Ashley Evans was also arrested on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing governmental operations after she tried to talk to Christie while he was in a police car. She posted bond and has been released.

Detective Evans reported that the pills that were found included Oxycodone, Xanax bars, Pereocet, and Hydrocodone.

Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set a $50,000 cash only bond for Christie after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bridgforth appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent Christie, told him to have no contact with Ashley Evans, and told him to come back to court Nov. 9.