MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Lousiville man is facing charges including driving on a suspended license and assaulting a first responder after a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon, according to the Blount County Sheriff’s Office.

BCSO said the traffic stop happened on Airbase Road near Alcoa Highway around 4:30 p.m. when a Blount County deputy recognized the driver of a vehicle as a man who was wanted on a felony warrant for violating the sex offender registry.

The driver, identified as Francis Joseph James Murphy-Rodriguez, stopped and initially complied with the officer by stepping out of his vehicle, but then began to resist, leading to a physical altercation, BCSO said.

According to the sheriff’s office, Murphy-Rodriguez continued to resist arrest, and the deputy continued to give him verbal commands that he ignored. The deputy then deployed his taser in an attempt to get Murphy-Rodriguez to comply and positioned him on the ground. BCSO added that three citizens who were driving by stopped to assist the deputy in placing Murphy-Rodriguez in custody.

“I am thankful for the willingness of these individuals who assisted our deputy,” Sheriff Berrong said. “Not everyone is courageous enough to come to the aid of a law enforcement officer who’s in an active fight with someone on the side of the road. Though deputies were in route to assist, in these instances, seconds count. These three men made a difference in the outcome of this incident.”

Murphy-Rodriguez’s injuries were treated on the scene by the Alcoa Fire Department, who also assessed the deputy for injuries. Murphy-Rodriguez was then taken to the Blount County Correctional Facility where he was served warrants for:

  • Violation of probation, specifically violation of the sex offender registry
  • Assault against a first responder
  • Resisting stop, frisk, halt
  • Evading arrest
  • Driving on a suspended license

Additional charges are forthcoming, the sheriff’s office said.

BCSO said he is being held without bond on the violation charge and on bonds totaling $11,000 on the other charges. Murphy-Rodriguez is expected in court on November 3, 2023.

The sheriff’s office added that Murphy-Rodriguez is on the sex offender registry for kidnapping a minor female in Puerto Rico in 2016, and his current alleged violation of the sex offender registry is failing to register as a sex offender in Blount County. BCSO said he also has a criminal record in Blount and surrounding counties.