Officers were dealing with a major hit-and-run when a driver allegedly veered into oncoming traffic and barreled past investigators Tuesday night.

The hit-and-run had caused a hazardous chemical spill across the intersection of East McKinney Street and Audra/South Woodrow lanes.

Allison Vetere, spokeswoman for the police, said officers had emergency lights activated in the area. Despite that, a 31-year-old driver in a gray pickup passed officers well above the legal speed limit while driving in the wrong lane.

Police were able to catch up with the driver and pull him over roughly one block east of the intersection.

“Officers immediately noticed the moderate smell of an alcoholic beverage coming from inside the vehicle, and they observed multiple signs of intoxication upon talking to the driver,” Vetere said.

She said the driver admitted to having “a couple of beers.” After conducting standard field sobriety tests, police determined the man was drunk.

After scanning his driver’s license, police saw he had a license to carry a weapon. The man then told officers he had a handgun in the center console of his vehicle.

Since they determined he was driving while intoxicated, a Class B misdemeanor, he was illegally in possession of a firearm.

He was arrested on charges of unlawfully carrying a weapon and driving while intoxicated. It was not immediately clear from police reports the circumstances of the initial hit-and-run or what hazardous material was spilled.

Ryan High locks doors

Ryan High School was temporarily locked up tight Wednesday morning as police dealt with a disturbance in an adjacent neighborhood.

Roughly a half-mile away, in the 5300 block of East McKinney Street, two suspects allegedly got into a fight with someone before displaying a firearm and departing.

“This event was non-school related and based on [an] event in an adjacent neighborhood that did not involve our school or students,” said Derrick Jackson, district spokesman, late Wednesday morning.

As an extra precaution, and since officers did not know which direction the suspects had gone, Ryan High was put under a “lock-in,” meaning students and staff were able to go about their day as normal, but outside fields were cleared and nobody was allowed to leave the building from 9:40 to 10:10 a.m., according to Denton ISD officials.

If the campus had been under a lockdown, students and staff would have stayed in their classrooms, and nobody expect for law enforcement officials would have been allowed to enter or leave the campus.

Officers eventually found the two suspects involved in the altercation. Witnesses told officers that one of the men had been fighting earlier in the 5300 block of East McKinney Street.

Police performed a probable cause search and found an undisclosed amount of marijuana. One man was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct-public fighting. The other was arrested on a charge of possession of marijuana.

Other reports

800 block of Cruise Street — Upon returning home from school, a student found that his home was unlocked Tuesday afternoon.

The student’s mother reported to police that her bedroom door had been kicked in. A TV, an Amazon Fire TV Stick and a tablet were reported stolen. The total loss was estimated at approximately $330.

Officers dusted for prints and saw that a window was open, which is how they believe the unknown suspect had entered the home.

6000 block of English Saddle Lane — A man called police after he got into a verbal argument with his neighbor.

The caller told officers his neighbor’s dogs had “attacked” him, but did not say he was bitten; officers did not make note of any bites, either.

Police advised both men to stay on their respective properties. No arrests were made.


From 6 a.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday:

  • Denton firefighters responded to 33 medical calls and one vehicle fire.
  • The Denton Police Department handled 168 service and officer-initiated calls and made 11 arrests.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.

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