Police arrest erratic driver on drug charges, DWI

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Erratic driving led Minden Police to arrest a local man on drug and DWI charges.

Rush L. Thornton Jr., 55, of the 900 block of Lewisville Rd., Minden, is charged with driving while intoxicated second offense, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, improper lane usage and as a fugitive.

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said Sgt. Jeremy Sitter was en route to assist Ofc. Reece Tewell and Off. Heather Feeback at a cafe on Hwy. 531 when he observed a white Jeep Cherokee on Hwy. 80 near Deerfield Rd.

“The vehicle swerved over onto the fog line, almost running off the road,” Cropper said. “Then it crossed the center and fog lines several more times.”

Sgt. Sitter reportedly stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Thornton.

“Thornton had a strong odor of alcohol emitting from his person and blood shot eyes,” said the chief. “When the officer asked how much he had been drinking, Thornton couldn’t answer but said he had been drinking a lot of vodka that day.”

While speaking with the driver, Sgt. Sitter reportedly noticed a plastic bag containing a green leafy substance suspected to be marijuana.

“He asked Thornton to exit the vehicle, where he was mirandized and placed in cuffs,” Cropper said. “Officers discovered a clear glass jar containing a green dust-like substance and a black digital scale.”

There were three clear bags in Thornton’s vehicle, weighing a total of 112.2 grams.

Thornton reportedly refused to take any standardized field sobriety tests except a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. He also refused to blow into the Intoxilyzer 9000 for a breath sample.

He was later transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.