Local law enforcement officers had a busy weekend, with incidents including a witness who helped police find a hit-and-run suspect, aggravated assault with a vehicle, first degree felony drug arrests following a traffic stop, and deputies who broke a truck’s window to gain entry after the driver ignored their commands to unlock the door.

Assault with a vehicle

Deputy Byron Langley arrested James Nix, 44, of Brownwood, Friday evening on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Brown County Jail records state.

According to Langley’s arrest affidavit:

Langley was driving his patrol vehicle behind Big Lots when he saw a car traveling at 81 mph in a 45 mph zone. Langley did a U-turn, activated his emergency lights and came up behind the car. Langley noticed that the car was was traveling beside a yellow vehicle. The driver of the black car stopped on Parkway just off C.C. Woodson.

Langley asked the driver if he knew how fast he’d been traveling. The driver “stated he did not know and really don’t give a (expletive) to be honest with you because he was mad,” Langley’s affidavit states. The driver said he was mad at the driver who’d been traveling in the yellow vehicle because the two had been involved in a dispute over money.

Dispatch radioed Langley that the driver of the yellow vehicle had just reported that the other driver had tried to run him off the road. A Brownwood police officer at the scene said the driver of the yellow vehicle had filed numerous complaints on the other driver for harassment and said she was filing another harassment charge on the driver.

The driver of the black car “became very agitated and began cursing and yelling at me and Officer Holland,” Langley’s affidavit states.

Driver ‘looked to be unconscious’

Deputy Ronny Bowman was dispatched Friday evening to the the 8900 block of U.S. Highway 183 South. Bowman arrived to see a truck pulling a stock trailer, traveling slowly headed north in the right southbound lane.

The driver, identified as David Patton, 54, of Lubbock, “looked to be unconscious,” Bowman’s arrest affidavit states. Bowman blocked southbound traffic with his patrol vehicle, and he and Sgt. John Fincher ran to the truck to try to get the driver to stop.

“The driver put the vehicle in park and appeared confused,” Bowman’s affidavit states. “Sgt. Fincher and I ordered the driver numerous times to unlocked the vehicle. Sgt. Fincher had to break the driver’s side window to gain entry to the vehicle.”

The deputies got the driver out of the truck, and the man was sweating profusely and unresponsive to commands or questions. The deputies called for EMS, and EMS personnel said the man’s blood sugar was very low and began treating him. The man was transported to Brownwood Regional Medical Center for further treatment.

The deputies found a small amount of marijuana in the truck. At the hospital, the man said he’d smoked marijuana on Thursday but not on Friday. Bowman arrested Patton on a charge of possession of marijuana under 2 ounces.

Attend funeral or wash clothes?

Sheriff’s Sgt. Pete Bastardo made a traffic stop Friday morning on Highway 279. The driver, identified as Sereio Castillo, 40, of Brownwood, had two outstanding warrants, Bastardo’s arrest affidavit states.

The man told Bastardo he’d gone to town to wash clothes but had changed his mind because he wanted to attend a funeral. Bastardo arrested Castillo on the warrants and searched the vehicle, finding a baggie with methamphetamine and a pipe.

Bastardo arrested Castillo on an additional charge of possession of a controlled substance.

Hidden in trailer hitch

Sheriff’s narcotics investigator Carlyle Gover notified deputy John Gramling on Saturday that he had information about a black pickup traveling from Coleman County to Brown County, possibly transporting narcotics.

Gramling located the truck in Bangs and stopped it for having an expired inspection sticker. Sgt. James Stroope located methamphetamine residue in the purse that belonged to the passenger, identified as Tara Holland.

“A probable cause search of the truck was then conducted and 6.4 grams of methamphetamine including packaging were located in a small black film canister that was found inside of the trailer hitch of the truck,” Gramling’s arrest affidavit states.

The deputies also found a digital scale with what appeared to be methamphetamine residue in the truck’s glove compartment.

Gramling arrested Holland, 33, and Johnny Strickland, 66, both of Brownwood, on charges of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance.

Hit-and-run, and a citizen’s help

Brownwood police were dispatched Saturday to Payless Shoe Store, 308 W. Commerce, on a report that a pickup backed out of a parking space, damaged another vehicle and drove away. A witness said the suspect, a woman with red hair and accompanied by a juvenile, had come out of the store before driving away.

An employee remembered the woman and was able to use a store computer to determine the woman’s name. 

The first witness then notified dispatch that he had found the suspect and her vehicle at the Stripes convenience store at 601 W. Commerce. As officers headed for the store, the witness said he was following the suspect vehicle on Duke Street, headed toward the center of town.

Officers located the vehicle and made a traffic stop near the intersection of Melwood and West Adams. Officers arrested Beverly Gandy, 33, of Brownwood, on a charge of duty on striking unattended vehicle. Gandy told officers she got out of her vehicle after it hit the other vehicle, saw no damage and drove away.