This story has been updated (see below)
Country artist Chris Young was arrested Monday evening, January 22nd, after getting into an altercation with officers for the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission in Nashville. At about 8:30 p.m., TABC officers were conducting routine compliance checks at the Tin Roof on Demonbreun Street when they encountered Chris Young at the bar. The 38-year-old was asked to show his identification along with the other patrons in the bar and restaurant.
During the compliance check, Young started to ask the compliance officers questions, and then proceeded to follow them around the bar as they checked the IDs of other patrons. When the officers left the Tin Roof and went next door to the Dawg House, Young and others continued to follow the officers. Young was talking to the bartenders and patrons at the Dawg House, and when the officers went to leave the establishment, Young allegedly stuck his hand out and “stuck” (likely “struck”) an officer on the shoulder.
According to the TABC officers, this is when the environment turned hostile. They arrested Young and charged him with disorderly conduct, assaulting an officer, and resisting arrest. Young was observed with bloodshot eyes and was slurring his speech.
A copy of the affidavit can be seen below:
Saving Country Music spoke to the Davidson County Court, and confirmed all charges against Young are misdemeanors. Young was released on $2,500 bond early Tuesday morning. His first official court date is on February 16th in General Sessions court.
Though Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s commonly have the right to request patrons in establishments that serve alcohol to show proof of identification, it occasionally results in misunderstandings or even altercations as patrons feel the practice is intrusive or a violation of the 4th Amendment. Some consider these checks similar to “stop and frisk” policies that have been legally challenged in some states and localities.
It’s currently unclear if this is the reason Chris Young chose to follow and accost the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission officers. Young has not addressed the incident publicly as of the publishing of this article.
Chris Young has landed eleven #1 songs in his career after being discovered through the competition Nashville Star in 2006. Though he started as more of a traditional country artist, he’s since become more of a popular country performer.
More information on this incident if or when it becomes available.
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Update (1/23 10:25 PM CST): Nick Beres of New Channel 5 in Nashville has obtained surveillance video footage of the incident that calls into question the claims made in the TABC affidavit.
According to Young’s lawyer, the country singer followed the TABC officers from the Tin Roof to the Dawg Bar because they had taken a photo of his picture ID. It was also not obvious to Young that the officers were truly from the TABC because they were not wearing uniforms. According to Young, he was just trying to verify the identity of the men.
As can be seen in the video, Young reaches out to stop the first officer as they are exiting the bar. This is the “stuck” referred to in the affidavit. The officer then shoves Young, knocking him back into the bar, and eventually onto the floor.
Expand to see full video.