Two separate calls led to the arrest of three men Sunday morning, two following an accident within the city and a third following a report of a reckless driver.
Stephenville Police Chief Roy Halsell said the first call came in around 1:45 a.m. Sunday reporting an erratic driver traveling on N. Graham Street.
“The reporting person got a description of the vehicle and its license plate number,” Halsell said. “The citizen who made the call continued to follow the vehicle until it was stopped by officers in the 800 block of Prairie Wind.”
After approaching the vehicle, the officer spotted a round of ammunition on the floor board. The driver, Dublin resident Reynaldo Flores, 27, admitted he was carrying a .380 semi-automatic pistol.
Halsell said officers also noticed that Flores had blood on his face, cuts below his eyes and other various wounds.
Flores told officers he had been “jumped” by three men at Club 21 on E. Washington Street after a “discussion over a female.” Flores also appeared to be intoxicated, Halsell said.
He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and unlawfully carrying a weapon. Flores was released from the Erath County Jail after posting bond.
A couple of hours later in an unrelated incident, Stephenville police responded to the scene of an automobile accident in the 100 block of N. Ollie Avenue.
Halsell said the accident occurred when Stephenville resident Casey Ryan Wittie, 21, was driving a white 2000 Ford Ranger south on Ollie, toward Washington Street. Wittie crossed the center line and caused a “near head on” collision with a red 2008 GMC Sierra pickup driven by Stephenville resident Clay Allen Brown, 19.
Wittie was removed from the vehicle using the “jaws of life” and suffered “incapacitating injuries.” The air bag did deploy, but Wittie was not wearing a seatbelt, Halsell said.
As Wittie was removed from the vehicle, officers spotted a handgun beneath him.
Wittie was also arrested and charged with DWI and unlawfully carrying a weapon.
Halsell said officers attributed the accident to a mixture of uncontrolled speed and alcohol, “a deadly combination.”
Two unidentified passengers in the Ford, 21 and 19 years old, suffered minor injuries and were not charged at the scene.
Brown, the driver of the other vehicle, was charged with driving with an invalid license. Brown and his unidentified 19-year-old passenger both suffered minor injuries.
Brown and Wittie were released from jail after posting bond.
Halsell said all of the parties involved in the accident were lucky.
“Alcohol, vehicles, speed and handguns never mix,” Halsell said. “It is a recipe for disaster.”