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Tuesday, September 22, 2020, Atoka Police Officer Lieutenant Randall Slawson was advised of a hit and run at Taco Bell and that the vehicle was leaving the scene traveling north.
The suspect’s vehicle, a white Ford Ranger pickup, was located at the traffic light intersection of Highway 69 and Thirteenth Street.
The driver turned east into the Chili’s parking lot and traveled at a high rate of speed behind the restaurant.
Lieutenant Slawson activated his emergency lights and siren to conduct a traffic stop. The officer saw the vehicle attempting to enter East Thirteenth Street, and pulled his patrol unit in front of the vehicle to block the exit.
The driver, identified as Aaron James Newton, 44, of Atoka, stuck his hands out of the driver’s side window as the officer approached the vehicle.
Lieutenant Slawson made contact with Newton and detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle.
When questioned about how much he had to drink, Newton replied, “too much.” The officer opened the driver door and told Newton to exit the vehicle.
He informed Lieutenant Slawson that he did not know that he had hit a vehicle at Taco Bell.
Atoka Police Officer Joe Doshier arrived on scene to attempt a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) with Newton.
During the SFST, Lieutenant Slawson spoke to the victim of the hit and run, Ronny Watson of Caney.
Watson said he was in the McDonald’s drive thru when Newton began backing up his vehicle. Watson honked and waved trying the get the driver’s attention but the pickup hit his truck.
After the hit, the suspect left the scene, traveling to Taco Bell with Watson following him. At the Taco Bell parking lot, Watson attempted to box in the suspect, who backed into the vehicle again.
Newton drove off from Taco Bell down Highway 69 until he was stopped by Lieutenant Slawson.
Officer Doshier advised Lieutenant Slawson that Newton had failed the SFST. He placed under arrest and placed into the back of the patrol unit.
During an inventory of the vehicle, in the cup holder, was a half drank twenty-four ounce can of Steel Reserve beer.
Newton refused the State’s test and was transported to the Atoka County Jail for booking.
While booking Newton, Slawson received word of a female claiming her vehicle had been stolen.
Speaking with the female, she described her vehicle as a white Ford Ranger. She stated she knew Newton and that she had not given him permission to take her vehicle.
The woman claimed she had gone to take a nap and found the pickup missing after she woke up. She advised the officer that she figured Newton had taken it, but as time passed, she became worried.
Newton is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle (felony), leaving scene of accident involving damage (misdemeanor), two counts of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (misdemeanor), transporting an opened container of intoxicating beverage (misdemeanor), and driving with license cancelled/suspended/revoked (misdemeanor).