NWGA Scanner | October 29th, 2021
According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, on October 17th, 2021, at approximately 2:12 AM, Lt. Gibson, and Sgt. Dalton was in the area of Carolyn Baptist Church watching for traffic violations when a concerned citizen brought it to the deputies’ attention that a vehicle had run onto a curb just south of their location. According to the report, “When Sgt. Dalton arrived in the area of Cleveland Highway and Victory Pkwy. He observed the vehicle against the curb. The vehicle had backed up off the curb and into the roadway when Sgt. Dalton activated his blue lights. The vehicle then quickly accelerated forward, traveling over the curb, the sidewalk, and up an embankment until it finally came to rest at the top of the hill.” The driver, later identified as Jamenez Fidel-Lopez, 20, of Dalton, appeared to be dazed and ignoring the deputy’s commands. According to the report, “As Sgt. Dalton gave verbal commands to the driver to get out of the vehicle, and the driver continued to fidget with the keys, radio, and gear shifter. After several verbal commands and the driver only replying, “It’s okay,” Sgt. Dalton reached into the vehicle, removed the keys, and began attempting to help the driver out of the vehicle that was tilting toward the passenger side due to being on a hill.” Once out of the vehicle, Lt. Gibson observed that Fidel-Lopez’s eyes were bloodshot and watery, and there was a very distinct and strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person. According to the report, Deputy Corona responded to the scene in order to help translate, and while waiting, Lt. Gibson observed that the driver, who identified himself as “Alex,” was unsteady on his feet due to a very large circular sway and staggering stance.” Fidel-Lopez stated he was alright, he had not been drinking, and he was trying to go home. According to the report, “It was discovered that the driver was attending a party across Cleveland Highway, and he was going home. The driver believed that he was still in the roadway and nothing was wrong.” During the field sobriety tests, Fidel-Lopez showed several clues of impairment and refused the state implied consent test. According to the report, “While searching the vehicle, Lt. Gibson discovered a uniform traffic citation written to the registered owner, showing the same birthday given by the driver. However, it was a different name. The driver then later advised that he did give the wrong name. Fidel-Lopez was transported to the Whitfield County Jail. Once at the jail, booking staff checked Fidelino with an Alco-Sensor, and it registered .179 with a very small sample of breath. Fidelino was charged with an improper left turn, failure to maintain lane, DUI/alcohol /less safe, driving while unlicensed, and minor in possession of alcohol.