NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - A Newport man was charged with fleeing, driving while intoxicated, and a number of other crimes Wednesday after a brief police chase the day before Valentine's Day, according to documents filed in Jackson County District Court.
According to the affidavit, Derrick James Duty, 20, of Newport led officers on a high speed chase for a little more than a mile at approximately 4:00 p.m. on Feb. 13. Police said Duty "disregarded at least 5 stop signs" and drove "at speeds of greater than 50 miles per hour on McLain Street (a 30 mile per hour zone)" during the chase.
Police reported that Duty's mother said her son took her 1997 Ford Explorer without her permission and he was intoxicated. Minutes after she called, an officer found the vehicle on North Gray Street.
As the officer tried to pull Duty over, Duty accelerated through the crosswalk at Unity Health/Harris Medical Clinic, the affidavit stated.
The affidavit stated, "the driver passed 2 vehicles in a no-passing zone. The pursuit continued, with the driver running the stop sign at State Highway 69, continuing onto Front Street, cutting through the Riceland parking lot, and then onto Second Street. The driver then continued onto Beech Street, back across State Highway 367, and finally turned into the back yard of Mrs. Duty at 204 Fourth Street and came to a stop."
Duty then failed field sobriety tests and was found to have a blood alcohol content level twice the legal limit of .08, according to the affidavit.
Lt. Patrick Weatherford, in the affidavit, stated that Duty has been convicted of 7 felonies and Duty should be subjected to enhanced penalties as a habitual offender.
Duty is set to appear in Jackson County Circuit Court on March 10, 2015.