NWGA Scanner | March 2nd, 2022

Drunk driver arrested after fleeing from Walker County deputy at speeds over 100 mph on Mission Ridge Road

According to a Walker County Sheriff’s Office incident report, on February 19th, 2022, while Deputy Fouts was assisting Deputy Durham on a DUI traffic stop, he heard Sgt. Agredano advised a black jeep at a high rate of speed coming towards them southbound on Mission Ridge Road. Deputy Fouts reported, “When [I] observed the Jeep [I] estimated their speed at around 60 mph in a 40 mph zone. [I] flipped around and attempted to catch up to the vehicle. [I] observed the vehicle appear to accelerate in an attempt to getaway. [I] finally caught up to the vehicle at about North Pine Street pacing speeds were 110 mph in a 40 mph zone. [I] activated my emergency equipment, and they failed to yield for lights and siren. Due to them failing to pull over, they initiated a pursuit.” The deputy notified Walker 911 that they were not stopping and advised Sgt. Agredano that the driver, later identified as Ruben Ibarbo, 53, of Rossville, appeared to be under the influence with the way he was driving recklessly all over the roadway. As Ruben passed Austin Avenue, he was traveling on the wrong side of the roadway, still maintaining speeds over 80 mph. According to the report, Ruben almost left the roadway on the left side of the road, coming nearly to striking a telephone pole. Ruben recovered and slowed down to around 60 mph before making an abrupt stop at Mission Ridge and Highway 341. Deputy Fouts reported, “Due to them stopping [I] took off my seat belt and began to exit. The vehicle began to flee again, turning south on Highway 341. [I] began pursuing them again when they made an abrupt turn onto Sherry Lane. Shortly after turning on Sherry Lane, the vehicle came to a stop. [I] exited my patrol vehicle, drew my county-issued sidearm, and began giving verbal commands for the driver to show me his hands.” According to the report, Ruben was not listening to commands. After about ten times of the deputy demanded the driver step out of the vehicle, he complied. Deputy Fouts reported, “[I] had to order him to the ground several times before he complied and did it. [I] held him at gunpoint while [I] ordered the passenger, later identified as Pedro Ibarbo, 48, to show me his hands and hold them out the window.” According to Pedro kept pulling his hands back in the vehicle and putting them back out. Other deputies arrived on the scene and assisted in taking Ruben into custody. While taking the passenger into custody, Pedro became non-compliant by physically resisting getting out of the vehicle. While speaking with Ruben, Deputy Fouts detected the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person. Deputy Fouts reported, “[I] advised him he was under arrest for the fleeing and reckless driving. [I] then read him Miranda and asked him if he was willing to talk. Ruben stated he was, but when [I] asked him about the consumption of alcohol, he stayed silent until [I] asked him again. When [I] asked him the second time, he stated he no longer wished to talk. Due to the slurred speech and odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person, [I] charged the driver with DUI. Pedro refused to provide an ID to Deputy Durham and Sgt. Agredano and [I] advised him he was under arrest as well for obstruction for forcefully resisting getting out of the vehicle and being placed in handcuffs.” Deputy Blesch’s transported them both to the Walker County Jail. Ruben was charged with felony fleeing, DUI- alcohol, speeding, reckless driving, and driving on the wrong side of the roadway.