Man drives pickup truck through Charleston bar

ALLEN MINCEY Banner Staff Writer
Posted 1/27/16

A Cleveland faces multiple charges after being arrested at a Charleston-area bar that he drove a pickup truck into at least twice.

Joel Alan Echols, 48, of a Blue Grass Circle S.E. address, …

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Man drives pickup truck through Charleston bar

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A Cleveland man faces multiple charges after being arrested at a Charleston-area bar that he drove a pickup truck into at least twice.

Joel Alan Echols, 48, of a Blue Grass Circle S.E. address, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, vandalism of property valued at over $10,000, driving under the influence, violation of the implied-consent law and driving on a suspended license, according to Bradley County Sheriff’s Office reports.

According to Deputy Jeff Wagner’s report, he responded to the Blue Line Bar at 1595 Lauderdale Memorial Highway just before midnight Monday after reports a pickup truck had been driven into the building. The driver was later identified as Echols, and the report said that the incident was possibly domestic-related.

The deputy’s reports said that Echols, after driving the truck into the bar, left the scene on foot, where he was apprehended. Wagner’s report said Echols admitted to driving the truck into the building “for entertainment,” and further investigation led to information that the truck belonged to Echols’ girlfriend.

A person inside the bar told the deputy that she was told by Echols to leave the building, and Echols then proceeded to drive into the bar twice, with the truck getting pinned the second time he struck the bar.

Echols admitted that he had been drinking, but refused to give blood, and also refused medical treatment from the Bradley County Emergency Medical Services.

No other injuries were reported in the incident.

Losses to the bar were estimated at around $10,000, while the damage to the truck was around $4,000, according to BCSO reports.

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