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Police arrest Mt. Juliet baseball coach on DUI
Apr 24, 2006 12:00 am
April 18, 2006 MT. JULIET – Mt. Juliet High School head baseball coach Mark Purvis was arrested Saturday on drunken driving charges while his passenger – and Mt. Juliet High assistant baseball coach – was arrested on public intoxication charged during a post-midnight back road stop.
Both men – Purvis, 34, and his assistant coach, Barry Dewayne Eddings, 35 – have been placed on two-day "personal leave" as a result of the arrests, Director of Schools Dr. Jim Duncan said Monday afternoon.
"I am very disappointed," Duncan said. "Obviously choices are made by adults and sometimes those are wrong choices. Right now they are on personal leave pending further investigation. I am looking into what further action to take in regard to their being members of the teaching profession."
Both men were arrested after a Mt. Juliet police officer rolled up on a 2005 Dodge Ram stopped in the middle of Clemmons Road near Curd Road at 1:29 a.m. Saturday. Both men admitted to drinking during the day and were arrested on separate charges, according to the Mt. Juliet Police arrest report. A female third passenger was not arrested and allowed to drive Purvis' truck home.
Purvis was arrested on drunken driving charges after failing a field sobriety test. He was also arrested on violation of the open container law.
Mt. Juliet Police Officer William Cosby wrote in his report he saw a pickup truck stopped in the middle of Clemmons Road and asked the driver "to exit and walk back to me." The driver, identified as Purvis, was "unsteady on his feet."
The police officer wrote he could tell the "driver had been drinking" and administered a field sobriety test, which Purvis failed. Cosby then arrested Purvis on DUI.
Cosby then searched the pickup truck and found open beer containers, leading to a second charged of violating the open container law.
Since Eddings wasn't driving but was intoxicated, he was arrested on public intoxication "for his safety," the arrest report said. Both were taken to the county jail.
Schools safety director David Burton confirmed the school system is at this time investigating the incident. He noted "codes of conduct" are in and out of school system employee contracts.
"School employees must adhere to these codes and certain behavior," Burton said. "Any violations will be investigated by the human resource department and the director of schools."
Duncan noted state law regards "improper use of narcotics and intoxicants" as one of several conducts "unbecoming to the teaching profession."
He said he did not condone such behavior and the two coaches "had not set a good example."
Mt. Juliet High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Tim Bell said he could not make any comments on the arrests. Both men will be in court to face the charges Sept. 6.
Bell said Purvis has been coach at the high school about 10 years. Eddings is a coach at the high school as well as a two-year middle school coach, Bell said.
Mt. Juliet Managing Editor Laurie Everett can be reached at 754-6397 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.