A driver pointing out a drunk driver to Heber Springs Police resulted in an arrest on a variety of charges in a Saturday night, Oct. 12, exchange.
Arrested was Brandon Ruple, 29, of Heber Springs.
According to the police report filed, a car pulled up to an officer parked on 2nd Street at about 10:30 p.m. to report a pickup truck that just passed “... had an operator that was extremely intoxicated and had gotten into a verbal altercation with her at Casey’s General Store on N 2nd Street,” the report stated.
The officer left to catch up with the truck and noted it swerving and crossing the white line as he drew closer. The driver of the truck then apparently spotted the officer and “... made an abrupt turn across oncoming lane of traffic and attempt to elude me into a clearing...” next to a billboard there.
The officer turned on his blue lights, and the truck continued its efforts to get away, driving down what the officer identified as a “4 wheeler trail” behind the billboard. The officer turned in order to cut the truck off where the trail intersected Johnson Lane.
Meanwhile a second officer drove down the trail after the pickup, stopping it and “detaining” the two men within until the reporting officer arrived.
The officer returned and spoke with the driver, Ruple, who told him he’d consumed “more than 5 beers” in the course of the evening. Ruple was “very intoxicated,” per the report.
The officer checked the Ruple’s wallet, found in the cab of the pickup, and realized the driver had a suspended driver’s license. When confronted, Ruple admitted this was the case, per the report, and knowing his license was suspended is why he tried to get away, since “I was going to get in trouble anyway” he reportedly told the officer.
He was taken to the jail for processing, as was his passenger, Steven Marks, 45, also of Heber Springs, who also appeared to be “highly intoxicated,” per the report. They were both taken in the same patrol car.
At the jail, while unloading the pair, the officer noted in the report that the rear floorboard and seat of his car had “fresh dip spit” which was “all over.”
“Both individuals were found to be dipping,” the report continued.
At the jail Ruple was given a field sobriety test where he gave several “clues of impairment.” A breath test was given which showed a .22 blood alcohol content (BAC), well in excess of the .08 used to show intoxication.
The officer reported: “Ruple begged me not to charge him with DWI due to hi claiming the already had three others, 2 within a year. Ruple was advised it was out of my control.”
Ruple asked to, and was allowed to clean the back of the patrol car. He was told that while the cleaning was a good act, it “... did not change the fact of the bad act he had done.”
Ruple was charged with DWI, fleeing, public intoxication and criminal mischief 1st degree (the last for spitting in the police car).
Marks was charged with public intoxication and criminal mischief.
Both were jailed and the pickup was impounded.