NWGA Scanner | February 17th, 2021
According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, on February 4th, 2021, at around 11:00 PM, Officer Sangphim was conducting patrol operations in the area of Maple Road at Summit Drive. The officer observed a silver Ford SUV approaching his location at a high rate of speed. The officer visually estimated the vehicle’s speed at 65 mph but was unable to use his radar to confirm the speed of the vehicle. The officer pulled out and attempted to catch up to the vehicle. Officer Sangphim reported, “[I] temporarily lost sight of the vehicle as we negotiated the curve near Henderson and Son’s funeral home on Maple Rd. When [I] re-observed the vehicle, [I] noted that my patrol vehicle’s speed was 84 mph (on Maple Rd at Spruce St), and the suspect vehicle was steadily pulling away and was gaining distance from my patrol vehicle.” The officer was finally able to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver, Steven Branton, 35, of Lindale, brought the vehicle to a stop on Lombardy Way at Maple Road. When asked why he was driving so fast, he stated he did not know how fast he was going but knew he was speeding. Steven stated that his engine was sputtering like it was going to die, so he gassed it to get the vehicle to “run right.” Dispatch advised that Steven’s license was suspended in 2018 for failure to appear and that he had a warrant for his arrest for a parole violation. The officer observed that Steven’s eyes were watery and bloodshot, and could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage. Steven stated he had 3 to 4 beers earlier, prior to driving. Steven was read implied consent and agreed to give a sample of his blood. Steven was transported to the Floyd County Jail, where he was charged with DUI-driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while license suspended or revoked, speeding, and parole violation.