Early morning food run leads to arrest
On Jan. 29, at approximately 1:24 am., Officer Christopher Cowart was dispatched to Taco Bell in the 2900 block of 16th St., in reference to a traffic accident.
Upon arrival, Officer Cowart observed a Chevrolet pickup and a Nissan at the drive-thru window.
Officer Cowart instructed the driver of the Nissan to move his vehicle from the drive-thru lane so he could get the truck moved from the drive-thru.
The driver of the Nissan told police that the Chevrolet truck had hit them in the rear while they were parked at the drive-thru window. He also told police that he had tried to talk to the driver of the Chevrolet, who was identified as Chase Chapman, 23, of Orange, but that the man could barely keep his head up, and his speech was very slurred.
The driver of the Nissan, Robert Collins, 20, or Orange, also said Chapman tried driving forward a couple more times and came close to hitting the Nissan again.
When police made contact with Chapman, and his passenger, Travis Reeves, officers observed Chapman’s speech to be slurred and he could not keep his head from bobbing up and down on the steering wheel. Officers also noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from Chapman’s breath.
Officer Cowart asked Reeves why he wasn’t driving, and he stated he didn’t know how to operate a standard transmission. Reeves also said he had also been drinking, but “a lot less than Chapman.”
Officer Cowart asked Chapman to exit his vehicle, and when Cowart opened the door of Chapman’s truck, Officers Cowart and Bernard had to catch Chapman before he fell to the concrete.
Once on his feet, police asked Chapman to conduct a sobriety test, to which he consented. Based on Chapman’s physical demeanor, slurred speech, unsteady balance and the results of the sobriety test, police determined that Chapman had lost all physical and mental facilities, and believed him to be intoxicated to the degree that he could not operate a motor vehicle,
Chapman was taken into custody for driving while intoxicated and transported to the Orange County Jail. He refused to consent to blood or breath specimens, and also refused to answer the questionnaire part of the interview.