DUI Trucker Jumps in Lake to Escape Police
Smithville, TN – An Alabama trucker made a bad situation that much worse when he fled from the back from a patrol car and jumped into a lake in attempts to escape arrest.
According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, the incident took place on Thursday, August 13 along Highway 70 east in Smithville.
Sheriff Ray said deputies initially received a call regarding a possible drunk driver in a semi-truck traveling toward Sparta.
A deputy was able to locate the white tractor-trailer, and told local outlet WJLE he “watched as it crossed over the white line of the road onto the right shoulder almost hitting road signs and mail boxes before going back across the center line.”
The officer pulled over the truck and identified its driver as Christopher Paul Ashlock, 35, of Muscle Shoals, AL.
Officials said Ashlock’s eyes were bloodshot and watery.
Additionally, authorities assert there was a “strong odor of alcohol and marijuana” emanating from the truck’s cab.
A field sobriety test was performed on Ashlock at the scene, which he “performed poorly,” according to police.
At that time, he was placed under arrest under the suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI)
Ashlock was placed in handcuffs behind his back and seated in the back of the patrol car.
Police said despite being in cuffs, Ashlock was able to open the door of the patrol car and flee on foot.
It was not made clear by officials how long Ashlock had been in the police car at the time he was able to escape and if he was supervised at the time.
Sheriff Ray said Ashlock attempted to further flee authorities by jumping into Center Hill Lake near the Sligo Marina and trying to swim away, with hands still in cuffs.
Officers were able to secure a boat at the Marina and ultimately captured Ashlock for a second time, when he continued to resist.
He was charged with DUI, escape, and resisting stop, frisk, halt or arrest.
He is being held in jail on an $8,500 bond.
Ashlock’s court date is set for September 3.