UPDATE: Knox Co. teacher pleaded guilty to public intoxication

BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Farragut Middle School teacher arrested Thursday, January 30 pleaded guilty to public intoxication in a Blount County court Wednesday.

Blount County deputies arrested John McElroy after they found him passed out in a ditch along the side of Laurel Valley Road in Townsend. They say he had a two liter bottle of vodka and various pieces of women's clothing, including a bra, fake implants, panties and animal print tights.

He received a 30 day suspended sentence. He was ordered to pay a $50 fine, continue outpatient treatment with his doctor and attend two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings each week.

He's scheduled to appear in court again, March 5.

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Blount County deputies thought they were responding to a wreck on Laurel Valley Road in Townsend around 1 p.m. Thursday, but when they showed up, they found Farragut Middle School teacher John McElroy passed out along the side of the road with a two liter bottle of vodka and various pieces of women's clothing, including a bra, fake implants, panties and animal print tights.

"Very strange, very strange," said Rodney Sims, a Knox County parent.

That seems to be everyone's reaction when they hear the story.

"Teachers are held in a little different light and it's very strange that it was a teacher - more or less any male that does it. But you know, different strokes for different folks," said Sims.

McElroy told deputies he couldn't remember how he got there - or where his car was. They found his keys on him and his silver mercedes parked about 50 yards away.

"Everyone wants their children to feel safe when they go to school, feel protected. and that - in my opinion - has parents uneasy," said Sims.

"As a parent, and having middle school kids - I mean, you're supposed to be a role model for these kids," said Angie Honeycutt.

Deputies said the technology teacher smelled like alcohol and told them he'd had too much to drink. He also needed help standing up.

McElroy faces one count of public intoxication. He's due in court on February 5.

Knox County Schools issued this statement: "We are awaiting the report from law enforcement and will take action accordingly."

McElroy was convicted of DUI in Knox County in 1981.


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