Knox County deputy resigns after drunken incident at Gatlinburg restaurant

James M. Schirnglone (Knox County Sheriff's Office)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputy has resigned after he reportedly argued belligerently and aggressively with employees and ripped a table that was screwed down to the floor.

A spokesperson from Knox County Sheriff’s Office said James M. Schirnglone, 43, resigned Friday in lieu of being terminated. Gatlinburg Police Department said they were called after employees at the restaurant said Schirnglone had caused a disturbance.

Employees told officers, Schirnglone entered the restaurant with three other people and began ordering drinks. When asked for identification so they could serve him alcohol, an employee said he didn’t want to cooperate, was aggressive and belligerent. After he ripped up a table, employees said they asked him to pay his tab and leave.

According to the police report, an argument ensued and one of the employees was struck in the hand by the table causing a bruise on the top her hand. When a second employee said he was going to call police and get him removed from the restaurant, he said Schirnglone approached him in an aggressive manner and showed him identification that showed he was in law enforcement.

When officers arrived at the restaurant they found Schirnglone on a bridge along Longbranch Road, just behind the restaurant. When officers talked to him about what happened, he said he had been at the restaurant and for no reason at all a female bartender asked him in an aggressive manner to leave the premises. He said he left and did not know any further information.

Responding officers noted in the police report that Schirnglone appeared intoxicated, with glassy and blood-shot eyes and a strong odor of alcohol. When questioned, he said he had only had 4-5 beers.

Schirnglone was detained. After he was releases from being questioned officers said he yelled “[explicit] these guys,” threatened a lawsuit and talked about the three responding officers on the scene.

There was minor damage to the restaurant. Police said victims decided not to press charges.

According to Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Schirnglone graduated from the sheriff’s office’s regional training academy in March 2014.

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