Police arrest man for DWI fifth offense

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A Minden man, suspected of hit-and-run twice in one night, attempted to lead police on a foot chase that ended with jail time for the suspect.

Tyler J. Hartwell, 30, of the 800 block of Woods St., Minden, was arrested for 2 counts of hit-and-run, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, driving while intoxicated (fifth offense), operating a vehicle while under suspension for certain priors and resisting an officer.

Minden Police Chief Jared McIver said his officers were notified of one hit-and-run accident Tuesday night on Talton Street near J.A. Phillips Street and while responding, dispatch advised the suspect had hit another vehicle on Homer Road near Fincher.

“As officers were arriving on scene, Lt. Spencer Tippen advised he had a male running on Goode Avenue,” McIver said. “Sgt. Reece Tewell was interviewing victims, when the first one told him the suspect – later identified as Hartwell – exited the vehicle after turning left onto Fincher Road and began running.”

Officers reportedly apprehended Hartwell, who refused to answer all questions, including his name.

“Officers could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage and a search of Hartwell’s person yielded several blue caps containing the words ‘Bud Light’ on them,” said the chief.

Hartwell was transported to MPD where he was fingerprinted and identified.

“A criminal history search turned up Hartwell has been arrested four times within the last 10 years for driving while under the influence,” McIver said. “This would make the fifth time he’s been arrested.”

Hartwell reportedly refused to take part in the standardized field sobriety test, sign the rights relating to the chemical test for intoxicate or provide a proper breath sample.

The chief said he also refused to answer questions pertaining to understanding his rights per Miranda three different times on three separate occasions.

He was transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center. If convicted for DWI or DUI, fifth offense, Louisiana DUI  law states that by the time one reaches a fifth offense DUI conviction, a driver could face up to 30 years in prison, a $5,000 fine, two years of license suspension and mandatory substance abuse treatment, home incarceration and community service.

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.