Suspect Arrested for Drunk Driving Spits on Officer

JONESBORO, Ark. – A routine traffic stop escalated into a troubling incident when a man arrested for drunk driving spat on the arresting officer, according to a police report.

Officer Will D. Tate was alerted to a van driving erratically on the evening of August 19 around 8 p.m. near Harrisburg and Parker Road in Jonesboro. A concerned motorist flagged down the officer, who later spotted the van swerving uncontrollably.

The driver, identified as Rolando Tronco Utrera, 41, of a Jonesboro address, was pulled over by Officer Tate. Although Utrera communicated in broken English, the officer quickly noticed signs of intoxication. A field sobriety test was conducted, and Utrera was found to be intoxicated with a .16 blood alcohol level, twice the legal limit.

Upon his arrest, Utrera’s behavior grew hostile. The police report noted threats and curses directed at Officer Tate, including: “I see your face, I’ll find you,” and “I’ll whoop your ass.” En route to jail, Utrera continued his tirade, spitting at the officer multiple times through the divider cage in the patrol unit.

Initially, police added an aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer charge for the spitting. However, detectives later removed that charge since a divider was between the two in the patrol unit. The incident further substantiated Utrera’s impairment, according to police.

Utrera, who has two previous DUI convictions and was driving with a suspended license due to a DWI admin suspension earlier this year, spent the weekend in Craighead County Detention Center sobering up. He now faces charges for DWI, refusal to submit, DWI with a suspended license, and fictitious tags.

The incident serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by law enforcement in conducting routine traffic stops, and the unpredictability they often encounter.

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