Two arrests resulted from an incident in which an allegedly intoxicated driver with minor passengers in the vehicle struggled with police attempting to determine the man’s sobriety.
According to a report from the Orange Police Department, Officer Byrun Perry was patrolling in the area of Strickland Drive and 37th Street in Orange at approximately 9:01 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, and observed a dark-colored Chevy truck traveling eastbound at an unsafe speed, failing to stop at red light traffic signal. Officer Perry reported that he then turned on his overhead lights to perform a traffic stop, but the vehicle did not pull over. After the truck turned southbound on Camellia Avenue and approached Bluebonnet Drive, the officer activated his siren, but the vehicle still failed to stop. The truck then turned eastbound onto Bluebonnet and then back, veering southbound onto Bridal Wreath Street, finally coming to a stop in the driveway of a residence in the 300 block.
Officer Perry reported detecting the odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage emitting from the driver upon making contact and observed two small children in the back seat of the truck. According to Perry, the driver, later identified as 46-year-old Paul Lawrence Curtis of Orange, refused several commands to exit the vehicle and was slurring his words while speaking with the officer. Perry attempted to assist the driver in exiting the vehicle and then to place him in handcuffs, at which point, he reports, Curtis “assumed a fighting stance” and refused to place his hands behind his back. Perry stated in the report that the suspect continued to struggle once on the ground while the officer attempted to restrain him, refusing commands and, at one point, trying to pull the officer’s feet out from under him “in an effort to throw me off balance.” Backup arrived, and eventually Curtis was arrested.
Another man at the scene, 45-year-old Leonard George Curtis, was also arrested for public intoxication.
Once arrested and transported to the Orange County Jail, Paul Curtis refused all tests for intoxication. Due to Curtis having a child under the age the age of 15 as a passenger in the car, a mandatory blood draw was performed at the jail infirmary. When Curtis was told blood would be taken, he once again refused testing and said that “he would fight” of a blood draw was attempted, according to Perry’s report. The suspect remained in handcuffs during the test, then booked for DWI with child passenger, a state jail felony.
OPD Captain Cliff Hargrave said the blood test results are pending and would take at least two weeks to process.