NWGA Scanner | January 13th, 2022

Tunnel Hill man charged with DUI and possession of meth after suspicious person call in Whitfield County

According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, on December 31st, 2021, at approximately 12:35 PM, the Whitfield County Communications Center received a call from an employee at the First Bank of Dalton, located at 3075 East Walnut Avenue. She informed the communications center that there was a suspicious male subject sitting in the teller line refusing to leave and kept pulling a mask up over his face. He was also playing his music very loudly and was making customers uncomfortable. Sgt. Callahan and Deputies B. Pack and J. Kirby arrived on the scene at the same time and observed the male subject, later identified as Jose Jesus Duarte, 42, of Tunnel Hill, driving towards the exit of the bank parking lot. Sgt. Callahan and Deputy Pack blocked Duarte’s vehicle in and made contact with him. According to the report, “Duarte had to be told several times to put the vehicle in park before he complied.” Duarte was detained after making some quick movements in the vehicle reaching for an unknown item. According to the report, “Mr. Duarte wasn’t making much sense and began rambling about looking for his glasses and then mentioned something about being at the “Doll House.” Deputy Pack was familiar with a location on Airport Road that is commonly referred to as the “Doll House.” The location is commonly visited by individuals using illegal drugs. Deputy Pack looked at Mr. Duarte’s pupils and noticed that they constricted, which is an indicator of being under the influence. Based on how he was rambling when asked a question and his strange behavior while in the bank teller line, Deputy Pack believed that he may be under the influence of an unknown substance.” During field sobriety tests, Durate showed several signs of drug impairment. Durate was placed under arrest for driving under the influence of drugs. Duarte then advised that he would not submit to a state test. According to the report, “Deputy Pack asked Mr. Duarte if there were any illegal items in his vehicle. He informed Deputy Pack that there might possibly be a meth pipe in the car that was left there by a female named “Tara.” In the front passenger’s seat, Deputy Kirby located a black canvas knife case. Inside of the case was a lighter and a glass pipe, which resembled one that people often use to introduce drugs into the human body. Inside of the glass pipe was a crystal-like substance that Deputy Pack suspected to be methamphetamine.”Duarte was booked into the Whitfield County Jail charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug-related items, DUI – driving under the influence of drugs.