Chattanooga man accused of sexual battery and bribing a police officer

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – A man with a long criminal history was denied bail after being accused of multiple charges including sexual battery, bribing a police officer and his 3rd DUI offense.

James Ford, 49, of Chattanooga was booked into the Hamilton County Jail after a woman told police he held her against her will and repeatedly touched her in an inappropriate manner. 

According to the arrest affidavit, police were called to a store in the 4900 block of Bonny Oaks Drive in reference to a possible kidnapping. 

A woman whom police have identified as a the victim told officers that she asked Ford for a ride to a bus stop in Hixson. but while en-rout, she said Ford repeatedly grabbed her upper thigh and groped her groin area. She told officers that Ford refused her commands to stop touching her.

According to the victim, Ford said, "Let’s have fun at my house," after she told him to stop the car and let her out. 

The woman told police that she was finally able to create a diversion to get away and get help by convincing Ford to pull over so she could purchase cigarettes and liquor for Ford. During that stop, she was able to call for help.

Ford was still at the scene when officers arrived. According to police, Ford was so intoxicated that he could barely stand.

When officers searched his car, they found a large bag of marijuana. While running his license plate, officers quickly learned that Ford was not only driving on a revoked licence, he had also been convicted on two prior DUI arrest. 

According to the officer who placed Ford under arrest, things became more interesting when Ford started threatening that officer by saying," This officer was going to be fired tomorrow; guaranteed."

According to the arrest affidavit, Ford said that he,"owns a lot of S–t," and that he would get the officer,"everything he wanted." 

The arresting officer reported that Ford offered to pay him $30,000 if he would simply take Ford home instead of the Hamilton county Jail. 

According to a WDEF criminal background check, Ford has a laundry list of criminal convictions that dates back to 2003.

Categories: Crime, Local News