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Police Reports 8-4-23: impaired driver arrested after crashing into sign

An impaired driver who crashed her vehicle admitted to consuming one drink during a field sobriety test.

On July 27, Tahlequah Police Officer Bo Smith was dispatched to reports of a single-vehicle crash on State Highway 51 and State Highway 82. Smith said it appeared the vehicle struck a sign and came to a rest on top of the sign. Dawn Powell was sitting in the driver’s seat when Smith approached her and asked if she needed medical attention. The woman said she was fine and was asked to exit the vehicle. Powell reportedly lost her balance and staggered as she walked to Smith’s patrol vehicle. She denied consuming anything that would have impaired her at the time of the crash. It was during a field sobriety test when Powell said she consumed one drink hours before driving. Powell was arrested after the test and booked on tribal charges for driving while impaired.

Lt. Matt Frits was called to Walmart July 27 after a 59-year-old man allegedly shoplifted $763 worth of items. Employees said Steven Wright was seen concealing merchandise in a tote he selected in the store. Wright placed a lid on the tote before he attempted to exit the store. The man was confronted by employees and escorted back inside the store. Wright was arrested for petit larceny and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center where detention officers found two baggies of methamphetamine in his pocket. Wright was booked for petit larceny, possession of paraphernalia, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and bringing contraband/drug into a penal/jail institution.

On July 24, Officer Ohavyah Soto was assisting Officer Bruce Gower during a pedestrian stop at Dollar General. Soto said Tabitha Dudley had a large quantity of bags and items and noticed a box of Narcan in one of the purses. Dudley reportedly told officers she had the Narcan for other people who “use.” The woman claimed to not have anything illegal in her bags and gave officers permission to search her belongings. Soto located two baggies that contained a tan-powdery substance, multiple cut straws with melted ends, unused baggies, three smoking pipes with burnt residue, and a prescription bottle. Dudley was transported to jail where she told officers she smokes methamphetamine but has never sold it. The woman said a man she had been staying with is who sells meth. Dudley was booked on tribal charges for possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance within 1,000 feet of a church.

Officer Gower responded to the Cherokee Inn motel July 29 due to a man who was trespassing. Gower met with Douglas Thomas, whom he trespassed from the property earlier that day. Thomas argued that he wasn’t on the property as he was 10 feet from South Muskogee Avenue, on the sidewalk. Thomas was arrested and transported to jail for trespassing.

On July 28, Officer Caleb Murray was called to a residence on Wheeler Circle in regard to a mental health incident. An intoxicated Susie Garcia said she was upset with family members who were at her apartment. Officers were told Garcia threatened to harm herself but Garcia said she didn’t want to harm herself. The woman began screaming and was advised she was disturbing the peace. EMS personnel tried to calm Garcia down but she fled across a parking lot and toward a family members’ apartment. Murray tried to stop the woman but she pulled away and struck the officer before she was taken into custody. Garcia, a tribal member, was booked for public intoxication and assault and battery on a police officer.


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