Demoted Knox Co. deputies allegedly made driver play 'dizzy bat'

Demoted Knox County deputies allegedly made driver play 'dizzy bat'

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Knox County Sheriff's Office shared more details Monday on the actions of deputies demoted last week for their behavior during a traffic stop.

Deputy Brian Rehg pulled over a 19-year-old driver for allegedly squealing or spinning his tires on October 16 on Emory Road.

The driver was accused of drag racing, and four more deputies eventually came to the scene.

Four passengers were also told to get out of the car.

An officer asked the driver if he was interested in a proposition that would allow him to only get one ticket instead of three.

The officers got the driver to put his forehead on a baseball bat and spin around. Many people call this "dizzy bat."

Although the audio goes dead, the officers told the driver to run around and touch all four corners of a sheriff's cruiser. The incident was called in at 12:56 a.m. and was over by 1:29 a.m., according to sheriff's office spokeswoman Martha Dooley.

She says officials don't know if the deputies turned off their microphones on purpose, but it's against policy to do so.

The deputies who were demoted are: Jason Acuff, 36, Jeff Bryant, 38, Brad Cox, 31, Brian Rehg, 34, and Alex Slate, 40.

Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones stripped all five officers of their law enforcement powers and demoted them from patrol officers to corrections officers.

The driver was given a speeding ticket at the time. However, since Sheriff Jones said proper procedure wasn't followed he went to the district attorney general who took the matter to court and got the ticket set aside.

Dooley says the deputies will not face suspension or any charges.

The FBI says its Knoxville office is aware of this incident and is taking preliminary investigative steps, but it's not a full-blown investigation.

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