Man charged with DUI after striking bar employee with car - WKRN News 2

Man charged with DUI after striking bar employee with car

Posted: Updated: July 23, 2012 09:53 PM
Gregory Powers, 46, was arrested Friday night after leaving the Pond in Franklin. Gregory Powers, 46, was arrested Friday night after leaving the Pond in Franklin.

Franklin police arrested a man for DUI after he hit a bar employee with his vehicle when he was refused service for being impaired.

According to police, an employee of The Pond followed Gregory Powers out to the parking lot where he was struck as the 46-year-old man was leaving around 7 p.m. Friday.

The 57-year-old victim was transported to an area hospital where he was treated and released.

The bartender alerted Franklin police to Powers appearing to be drunk and trying to drive away from the bar.

The Pond has a policy of not allowing people who appear to be impaired to drive.

Bartenders offer to call a taxi or allow the customer to call for a ride.

If the customer insists on leaving, a bar employee gets the person's license plate number and a description of their vehicle and calls police.

"If someone is not going to be able to drive and they are going to put themselves or other people in danger you have to draw the line. You have to cut them off," bartender Shea Heeney said.  "This does not necessarily happen to people we have been serving. It can be people who come in under the influence."

Heeney is not the bartender who was struck by Powers' car.

He says usually patrons agree to call for a ride or take a taxi when the staff feels they have had too much to drink.

In Powers' case, however, he refused the help.

Nashville's News 2 obtained audio from the 911 call the bartender made to Franklin dispatch.

"I told you not to drive your car," the bartender is heard telling Powers.

You can hear Powers ask why.

"Because you are too drunk to drive," the bartender responds.

You then hear Powers yelling at the bartender.

"Give me a F*%!^ God D@*%," he said.

Then the dispatcher is heard telling the responding officer, "It is a disturbance now."

The bartender was hit in the knee by Powers' car yet stayed on the phone with dispatch and gave them Powers' direction of travel.

"He ran the red light going toward 11th Avenue," he said. "He drove so fast. He went 50 miles-per-hour through a red light."

Officers located Powers a short time later near Highway 96W and 11th Avenue.

"I do wish he had listened to us," Heeney said.  "You never know how someone is going to respond.  It can be a normal reaction or something outlandish, ridiculous or dangerous."

Powers is charged with DUI, violation of the implied consent law and vehicular assault.

He has since been released on a $7,500 bond.

In addition to Powers, Franklin police took four others into custody for driving under the influence over the weekend.

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