By Jessie Williams
A routine traffic stop took a dangerous turn last week, when an allegedly drunk driver fled police and nearly ran over an officer.
According to the report filed by Lafayette Police Department Patrolman Byron Butcher, a green Toyota was pulled over on Saturday, June 29, after the vehicle’s tag was ran and came back to a Ford.
During the traffic stop, Officer Butcher noticed a loud odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle. The driver, identified as 43-year-old Robert Shane Tittle, did admit to drinking earlier in the day.
After information Tittle gave the officer came back as “not on file,” he was asked to step out of the vehicle.
He allegedly refused to exit his car and then accelerated rapidly in an attempt to flee, nearly hitting Officer Butcher.
During the officer’s pursuit of the vehicle, Mr. Tittle is said to have refused to stop - running numerous stop signs, crossing the center line several times, throwing a beer can out onto the road, reaching speeds of over 80 MPH and causing damage to a yard.
Tittle’s vehicle was disabled on Galen Road, and he was taken into custody.
His girlfriend was also in the vehicle during the pursuit.
A search of the Toyota led to the discovery of numerous empty Bud Lite cans.
Tittle was found to have a suspended license and gave Officer Butcher an incorrect date of birth during the initial traffic stop.
He was charged with aggravated assault, financial responsibility violation, license plate on wrong vehicle, driving an unregistered vehicle, evading arrest, driving left of center, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, criminal impersonation, littering and open alcohol container violation.
His bond was set at $22,000, and he is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court on July 17.