Routine traffic stop nets one on multiple charges

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Patrolling the Evans Street area over the weekend, Minden Police Officer Kendale Booker initiated a traffic stop that netted the arrest of a Gibsland man on more serious charges.

Bruce Bernard Stephens Jr., 46, has been charged with no seatbelt, no child restraint, failure to signal, open container, driving while intoxicated (first offense) with child endangerment, resisting an officer with force or violence, three counts of resisting an officer and driving under suspension with prior DWI.

Chief Steve Cropper said Off. Booker noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from Stephens’ person and great during the traffic stop.

“Stephens also showed obvious signs of impairment, and there was a juvenile boy in the front seat with no proper restraint,” Cropper said. “Stephens stated the boy was five years old.”

During the course of the traffic stop, Stephens was reportedly advised as to the reason he was being detained.

“He refused to follow orders and took off running,” said the chief. “During the foot pursuit, Stephens grabbed Off. Booker several times, lowered his shoulder and rammed the officer and then shoved him off a terraced embankment approximately four feet high.”

According to the chief, Stephens continued to ignore Off. Booker’s commands to stop resisting. Sgt. Donald Brice and Off. Jason Lee assisted Off. Booker, but Stephens reportedly resisted all officers’ attempts to place him in handcuffs.

Stephens was eventually taken into custody several blocks from the traffic stop. During the search of his vehicle, offers reportedly located an open container beside the driver’s seat. Stephens admitted to owning and drinking from the container.

“Stephens was transported to Minden PD for DWI testing, after refusing a standard field sobriety test,” Cropper said. “He also refused the Intoxylizer, but he admitted to drinking beer up to the time of the traffic stop.”