About 1:30 am Friday morning, as the clubs in town were emptying into the streets, Officer Kevin Moore noticed a 1999 Mercury Cougar driving east on Alabama Street. The car caught Moore’s attention because it had one headlight and no tag light. It kept his attention because it was all over the road, crossing the lines on both sides of its lane. Moore attempted to pull the car over, but the driver ignored his blue lights. As the Mercury approached the Lehmberg Road extension, it entered the short street through the exit lane, going the wrong way. Moore continued pursuit and the Cougar finally pulled into the parking lot of Citizen’s National Bank at 115 Lehmberg Road.
When the car came to a stop, the driver, Frankie Petty, opened his door and threw his keys out into the parking lot. He then hopped out of the car and grabbed the keys before sitting back down in the driver’s seat. Additional officers arrived on scene, responding to the initial failure to stop.
Petty and his passenger were pulled from the car and placed in handcuffs. Through the back window, the officers could see a few beers sitting on the back seat. When they asked Petty if he was drinking the beers, his answer was, “Those are mine. But I was drinking those when we started driving. I wasn’t drinking when you pulled me over.” He was very paranoid about the officers searching him and his car. At one point, he started saying, “Don’t plant it, don’t plant it!”
When Moore ran the license plate for the car, it came back as registered to a 2005 Kia. The number was double-checked and it was verified that the car had a switched tag. Petty told the officers, “I don’t know man. I don’t look at my tag. I just bought this car from my cousin for $2000. I never looked at the tag.”
Petty then started complaining that he needed to urinate very badly, “Man, I gotta p***! Bad!” He started walking away from the car, towards the bank. When he was stopped and asked where he thought he was going, he said, “I’m going behind that building to take a p***.” The officers told him that he was not leaving their sight. Next, Petty tried to walk to the edge of the parking lot. Again, he was told to come back and stand next to his car. Petty then proceeded to reach one handcuffed arm around to unzip his pants. He turned his back to the cops (and his front towards Lehmberg Road extension) and relieved himself beside his car.
Officer Donnie Elkin arrived on scene with a portable breathalyzer and, once Petty was presentable, administered the alcohol test. While standing in a puddle of his own urine, Petty blew more than three times the legal limit of .08. His response was, “Man, that’s just enough to f*** me up, ain’t it?”
When told that he was being charged with DUI and that his car would be towed, Petty panicked. “Man, I just bought that car! That’s $2000 gone! Please don’t take it!” [Apparently, Petty thought that if your car gets impounded, you never get it back. – JD] Frankie Petty was taken to LCADC and charged for Driving Under the Influence, Indecent Exposure and Switched Tag.