NWGA Scanner | August 2nd, 2021
According to a Whiftlid County Sheriff’s Office incident report, on July 24th, 2021, at approximately 2:57 AM, Deputy B. Pack was in the parking lot of the Mapco at 2809 Chattanooga Road. According to the report, “Deputy Pack was about to make a left turn onto Lafayette Road when he heard a vehicle making a loud noise in the distance. Deputy Pack saw headlights traveling East on Lafayette Road, and prior to reaching his location, the vehicle made an abrupt turn onto Palmer Dr. Deputy Pack believed that the driver had seen the reflective lettering on the side of the patrol vehicle and decided to turn. In an attempt to intercept the vehicle, Deputy Pack drove to the other end of Palmer Drive and waited for the vehicle for a moment.” The deputy also noticed a large amount of fluid in the roadway that appeared to be oil. The deputy followed the oil trail where the vehicle turned onto Palmer Drive and then another trail where the vehicle made a right turn onto Lafayette Road. According to the report, “Deputy Pack looked to his right and saw the vehicle pulling into the parking lot of Mapco.” The Jeep Cherokee stopped near the air pump. There was oil leaking from the vehicle, and the front right tire was flat. The deputy made contact with the driver, later identified as Joseph Michael Canales, 22, of Tunnel Hill. When asked why his vehicle was leaking oil Canales advised that he had recently replaced the oil filter and thought that might be the reason it was leaking. According to the report, “While speaking with him, Deputy Pack noticed pieces of sticks and limbs hanging out from under the vehicle. Deputy Pack pointed this out to Mr. Canales and suggested that he had been involved in some type of crash. Deputy Pack noticed that Mr. Canales was extremely talkative, and he was slurring some of his words. His eyes were glossy, and as Deputy Pack got closer to Mr. Canales, he detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person. Deputy Pack asked Mr. Canales how many alcoholic beverages he had consumed tonight, and he said none.” When the deputy asked him again, Canales said that he had one shot, but instead of drinking it, it spilled on his shirt. According to the report, “Deputy Pack asked Mr. Canales if he would perform field sobriety examinations, and he refused to do so. Based on Mr. Canales manifestations of impairment, the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person, the recent damage to the vehicle, and Deputy Pack’s knowledge, training, and experience as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) he believed that Mr. Canales was under the influence of alcohol to an extent he was less safe to operate a vehicle safely.” Canales was placed under arrest refused the state test of his breath. Canales was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, charged with DUI-Alcohol-Less Safe, and driving while license suspended. Canales had active suspensions on his driver’s license for DUI. Deputy Pack and Sgt. Dalton located where Canales had crashed. According to the report, based on the roadway evidence, Canales was traveling South on Houston Valley Road and crossed over Lafayette Road, jumped a drain culvert, and struck several trees. He then drove through the yard of 265 Old Lafayette Rd. He made a right turn onto Lafayette Road, where Deputy Pack first saw him. According to reports, Canales was arrested for DUI earlier this year on January 30th. Canales attempted to avoid the DUI by going inside a house during a traffic stop in Whitfield County.