NWGA Scanner | February 17th, 2021

Dalton man charged with DUI after crashing Lexus down steep embankment

According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, on August 28th, 2020, at around 11:12 PM, Officer Castillo responded to a crash with injuries at 101 North Thornton Avenue; dispatch had received a call from Sirius XM saying they had detected an airbag deployment at that location on a 2016 Lexus ES 350. Dispatch also gave out that the driver was going to be an Omar Awad, of Dalton someone who officers were very familiar with. The caller told dispatch that the driver (Omar) seemed confused and possibly under the influence. Several officers, including Dalton Fire and Hamilton EMS, arrived in the area but could not locate any vehicle. Officers check his business, house, and other locations. Officer Castillo reported, “[I] was worried about Omar’s well being and would not stop searching the area for him.” While searching the area, concerned citizens told Officer Castillo that there was a person lying on the street, and they didn’t know what was wrong. Officer Castillo found Omar lying on their back in the street. Officer Castillo immediately recognized the suspect on the ground as Omar Awad. The officer could tell he was very uneasy on his feet when he stood up. Omar was swaying back and forth while standing and appeared to have a hard time maintaining his balance. Officer Castillo found the 2016 Lexus deep in the woods down a steep slope/embankment with heavy damage. Officer requested EMS to check Omar out. Omar told officers that he had not been driving and that a female had been the one driving. Officer Pendergrass, Mccarver, and Jenkins arrived on the scene to assist. While talking to Omar, Officer Castillo also detected the strong and distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his mouth. Omar said that he did not need any medical attention and didn’t want to walk with them. Omar spoke with EMS and refused all treatment. Omar continued to tell officers a girl was driving. He gave the name Natalie. Later, he told officers her name was Alondra. he then told officers the girl’s name was Rosie. Officer Castillo reported, “[I] told Omar that just in this short amount of time that [I] had been out with him, he had given me about three different names for this female.” “He had said the female driver’s name was Natalie, Alondra, and now Rosie.” Omar then said that the girl’s name was Natalie Alondra but couldn’t explain where the name of Rosie came into the picture. After searching, Omar Officer Castillo found large amounts of currency inside his front pockets but nothing else. Officers gave him a bag to put all the money in. Officer Castillo reported, “Omar struggled with trying to put his cash into the bags.” “This simple task of putting cash into a bag and Omar’s inability to do so confirmed my suspicion, that Omar was under the influence of something.” Officer ended up having to help him put all the cash into the bags. Omar then took the bags and put them inside his pockets. Officers on the scene checked to see if there was any evidence of two people being inside the vehicle. They found plenty of evidence showing that there was only one occupant. While out with Omar, Office Castillo reported he would go from very cooperative to remorseful, to easily agitated and irate. Officer Castillo reported, “After talking with Omar and not finding that he was truthful with me, [I] suspected that he had been the one driving.” Officer Castillo continued to talk with Omar, who was very confused and changed the name of the supposed female driver again to Jackie. Omar then changed the name another time and said the girl’s name was Sandra. The officer asked Omar if he would submit to a series of field sobriety tests to determine if he was safe to be driving, and he agreed. Omar advised he could not take the one-leg stand test due to an injury, and the last test that was explained was the field Alco-sensor test. Omar stated that he would also not take this test. During the battery of tests, Omar displayed a lack of coordination, difficulty standing, and exceptionally poor, slurred, mumbled speech. While talking to the female on the phone, Omar said that everybody that was inside the car had left after the crash, including the people in the back seat. This was the first time that Omar had mention anything about other people being in the back seat. The fame confirmed to the officer that she was not driving. Omar was placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol and read Georgia’s Implied Consent notification at the scene. Omar would not answer the question but did say that he had a dash camera inside the vehicle and would prove she had been the one driving. When asked to see the footage, Omar advised that it was too late now because he was under arrest. Omar said that he would just fight Officer Castillo in court and refused to allow anyone to view the supposed video. The female stated that they were eating at Chili’s. She said that Omar refused to get a ride and insisted that he follow her home in his vehicle. She said that after leaving and while stopped at a red light, Omar had fallen asleep. She had to stop and go back to knock on his window and wake Omar up. She said that Omar fell asleep two times at two different green lights. She said that Omar had only drunk about four shots of Hennessy while at the restaurant, so he must have been on something else to get him that messed up. Omar was cited for DUI less safe driver, failure to maintain lane, and safety belt violation.