Sheriff says alcohol a factor in wild driving episode

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 30, 2004

By VICKIE JAMBON Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – According to Capt. Michael Tregre with the St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office, a LaPlace man was arrested for driving 60 miles per hour on the shoulder of the road with two blown out tires. Repeatedly striking a roadside guard rail, the man initially refused to stop his vehicle.

Sgt. Conrad Baker Jr. was sent to investigate the citing of a gold Chevrolet pickup truck reportedly driving on the right hand shoulder of the highway.

According to a report filed by Baker, the vehicle had a blown out front passenger tire that appeared to be completely shredded and a flat rear tire.

“While I got behind the vehicle and activated my top lights, the vehicle refused to stop. I activated my siren, but the vehicle still continued for about three-tenths of a mile,” said Baker.

Tregre said while the vehicle continued at approximately 60 miles per hour, it repeatedly struck the right side guard rail that runs along the side of the highway.

After finally stopping, the driver tried to step out of the truck.

Baker’s report alleges the man almost fell but quickly grabbed the side of his truck to hold himself up.

Johnny W. Barksdale, 33 of 2405 Williamsburg Drive allegedly told Baker he had left work in Kenner and was headed home. However, Baker noted that Barksdale had passed up the LaPlace exit.

Baker said Barksdale displayed poor balance and had to hold on to the vehicle to support himself. He accused Barksdale of having slurred speech and of sometimes being incoherent when he spoke.

In Baker’s report, the officer accused Barksdale of being belligerent on his way to the correctional facility.

Baker accused Barksdale of telling him that he would be sorry for arresting him.

The driver of the gold truck was booked after reportedly refusing all tests and was also found to be wanted in Jefferson Parish.

According to Baker’s report, a license record on Barksdale revealed a refusal of alcohol tests on September 4, 1998, September 26, 1998, August 12, 2000 and December 6, 2002. He submitted to a test on August 5, 2000.

Tregre said Barksdale has five total arrests for DWI.

Sheriff’s records show Barksdale was also charged for at least three refusals to test due to his refusal to test again within five years.

Barksdale’s criminal history report reflects a DWI arrest on August 5, 2000 and December 6, 2002.

After this recent incident, Barksdale was charged with a third offense DWI, three or more refusals to submit to chemical tests, reckless operation of a vehicle, hit and run driving and for being a fugitive from another agency.