Semi-truck driver fights with Dalton officers during DUI arrest, found with drugs and open container
According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020, at approximately 9:51 AM, Officer Dykes with the Dalton Police Department Traffic Unit was in the area of East Walnut Avenue and Silver Cir conducting traffic enforcement. As Officer Dykes was conducting traffic enforcement looking for speed violators. The officer was notified earlier of reckless semi in the area but was unable to locate it. Shortly after the officer observed a speeding semi traveling eastbound in the middle travel lane. The officer noticed through my training and experience with speed detection that the semi was traveling well over 55 mph in the 45 mph zone. The officer checked the speed of the semi at approximately 59 mph. The officer noticed that the semi was speeding up as it was got closer to his location. The officer checked the semi again, traveling 65 mph. The went to conduct a traffic stop on the semi-truck for the speeding violation when he observed the semi-truck go over the white dotted lines into the inside lane, causing a pickup truck to have to move over to avoid being struck by the semi. Once the officer got the semi stopped, the officer exited his patrol car and approached the driver' s side of the semi-truck. As the officer was approaching the truck, the male driver later identified as Damon Ralphe'al Traylor, 25 of McDonough, walked toward him. Officer Dykes advised the Traylor the reason for the stop. Traylor apologized and advised that he had just got this trailer emptied. Traylor kept on apologizing for the issues and speeding. While taking with Traylor even though Officer Dykes had a cloth face covering on, he could smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from Traylor mouth area. Officer Dykes also noticed that Traylor's eyes were glassy and droopy. Traylor kept trying to walk to the cab of the truck and was asked repeatedly asked Traylor to return to the rear. Traylor stated he was just starting his route. Traylor also advised he was not driving and that his co-driver was, he stated that he was only parking it. Traylor was asked if he had anything to drink, and he said no. Traylor said if he took a breath sample on an Alco-Sensor would he blow all 000's. Traylor said that he would show the officer and then started walking toward the cab of the truck again. Traylor tried again to get back to the cab of the truck for some reason. Officer Dykes stated to Traylor that they were waiting for another officer to arrive and assist, Traylor stated he drove the truck for Sierra Trucking. According to the report, Traylor tried again to make his way back to the cab of the truck, so he could talk with Jaycoy the co-driver. Officer Dykes stated, "As [I] continued to talk with Traylor [I] noticed that his speech was slurred. "[I] explained to Traylor that [I] noticed several clues from just talking with him that lead me to think he was possibly impaired." Officer Bethune arrived on the scene assisted with the traffic stop. The co-driver advised Officer Dykes that Traylor was, in fact, driving. Traylor finally admitted to driving and agreed to conduct some field sobriety tests to make sure he was safe to be drive. Traylor showed Officer Dykes several clues that he, in fact impaired. One of the Alco-Sensor Traylor tested positive for alcohol with a breath alcohol content of .163. Traylor was placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. After handcuffing Traylor, he began resisting arrest and trying to pull away. Traylor began actively resisting and was trying to get into his pocket. Officer not knowing what he was going for or if he was armed began to struggle with him trying to keep his hands out of his front pocket. The violent struggle continued with officers. Traylor twisted his body toward Officer Bethune, causing Officer Bethune left arm to get caught up in Traylor's handcuffs. Moments later, Officer Bethune was able to finally get his arm out. According to the report, Officer Bethune had visible cuts to his wrist and arm area, which was swelling up. Officer Avila and Dykes were able to get control of Traylor and finished the search. During the search, officers located several glass pipes in his front, sweet shirt pocket. The two glass pipes had what appeared to be Brillo in one end of them, which is a type of pipe used to smoke cocaine. Lt. Bishop arrived on scene and had the Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Compliance Division en route to the scene. At the Whitfield County, Jail Traylor provided two breath samples of .175 and .177. Traylor was charged with speeding, failure to maintain lane, DUI commercial vehicle 0.04 grams or more, 2- possession of drug-related objects, battery ( officer), obstruction or hindering law enforcement officer, obstruction or hindering law enforcement officer and possession of control substance cocaine. MCCD Officer Ford advised that he found an open container of alcohol in the driver's door on his inspection of the truck and trailer. Officer Ford also located less than 1 oz of suspected marijuana in the sleeper compartment. While I was at the Whitfield County Jail Sgt. Cantrell contacted Officer Dykes by phone and advised that the reckless semi was the BOLO from earlier in the day.