NWGA Scanner | March 6th, 2022

Dalton man arrested for DUI child endangerment after 911 call from concerned citizen in Whitfield County

According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, on February 19th, 2022, the Whitfield County 911 Center advised that there was a vehicle traveling South on Cleveland Hwy around Dawnville Road. According to the report, “Dispatch advised that the vehicle pulled out in front of the caller when it turned onto Cleveland Hwy, almost striking his vehicle. Dispatch advised that the vehicle was now failing to maintain its lane as well as its speeds. Lt. Gibson was able to get sight of the vehicle in the area of Cleveland Hwy and Waring Rd. However, due to traffic conditions being heavy at this time, Lt. Gibson was unable to get directly behind the vehicle. While attempting to catch up to the vehicle, Lt. Gibson observed the vehicle make abrupt stops, drift within its lane, and accelerate rapidly. As the vehicle continued South on Glenwood Ave from Legion Dr, Lt. Gibson observed the vehicle drift in and out of the first and second curve, and Lt. Gibson also observed the vehicle cross over the lane divider multiple times. When Lt. Gibson was able to get behind the vehicle as they approached the intersection at Waugh St, the vehicle, a gold 2004 Honda Accord displaying Georgia tag RZW1085, started to turn right onto E. Waugh St, an access road that runs in front of several businesses and loops under the bridge. As the vehicle began to turn onto E. Waugh St, Lt. Gibson followed behind the car, but it stopped, leaving Lt. Gibson’s patrol vehicle sitting in the right lane of Glenwood Ave. Due to the driving manifestations that Lt. Gibson observed, the vehicle failing to maintain its lane, and the vehicle stopping in the manner that it did, Lt. Gibson activated his blue lights in order to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle.” The driver then exited the vehicle along with his juvenile son, who was translating for him. The driver, Mr. Omar Leon-Lopez, 36, of Dalton, expressed that they needed to get home due to having other children at home. According to the report, “Due to the driving manifestations observed by Lt. Gibson, Mr. Leon-Lopez admitting to having been consuming alcoholic beverages prior to the traffic stop, observing six out of six validated clues while checking for HGN, observing six out of eight validated clues during the Walk and Turn, and observing three out of four validated clues during the One Leg Stand, Lt. Gibson advised Mr. Leon-Lopez that he was placing him under arrest for DUI. Officer Hill stated that the juvenile had advised him that Mr. Leon-Lopez had only taken a couple of sips of beer while he was driving, and then they got lost while trying to get home.” According to the report, several opened bottles of Budweiser and Budweiser were located in the vehicle’s cup holder. Leon-Lopez was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, charged with DUI, DUI child endangerment, improper stopping, failure to maintain a single lane, and open container violation