MOUNT CARMEL — A Mount Carmel man told police he fled from an attempted traffic stop Tuesday evening because he needed to hurry home to use the bathroom.
Arresting Mount Carmel Police Department Officer Stacy Vaughan said that wasn’t a valid excuse to run from the law.
William Charles Cassidy III, 36, 208 Meadow Springs Lane, Mount Carmel, had to wait until after he was booked into the Hawkins County Jail until he was given access to a restroom, Vaughan added.
Shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, Hawkins County Central Dispatch received a call from a motorist who had allegedly witnessed Cassidy strike a mailbox on Carters Valley Road. The motorist gave a description of the white 2000 Ford pickup and the license plate number, and Central Dispatch issued a BOLO (be on the lookout) for the truck.
Vaughan said he was northbound on Independence Avenue when the truck passed him going southbound.
Vaughan turned around, got behind the truck, and observed that the license number matched the BOLO.
“I activated my blue lights at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Meadow Springs Lane to conduct a traffic stop,” Vaughan said. “At that point the vehicle accelerated away from me and turned onto Meadow Springs Lane traveling west. I then activated my siren and followed the vehicle in excess of 50 mph in a 20 mph zone.
“The vehicle stopped at a residence near the dead end of Meadow Springs Lane.”
That residence was Cassidy’s home. Vaughan said he got to Cassidy before he exited the truck. Vaughan said Cassidy initially indicated he’d fled because he was sick and then said he hadn’t stopped “because he needed to get home so he could use the bathroom,” Vaughan said.
“That was not an excuse to run from the police and drive through that residential neighborhood at more than twice the speed limit with blue lights and siren behind him,” Vaughan said. “If it was that big of an emergency, he could have stopped and explained it to me if something was wrong.”
Cassidy smelled strongly of alcohol, failed four sobriety tests, and had about a half bottle of liquor in the vehicle with him, Vaughan said. He was charged with felony evading arrest, speeding 50 mph in a 20 mph zone, leaving the scene of an accident, DUI, and violation of the implied consent law.