A driver pulled behind a Gainesville Police Department officer’s patrol vehicle while the officer was conducting a traffic stop, which blocked the officer’s vehicle between his and the citizen’s vehicle. The driver approached the scene and stated that he wanted to know what she had done. The officer informed the driver that he needed to leave the scene, but he insisted that the officer tell him what the citizen had done, repeatedly saying, “I wanna know what she did!”
The driver was told to move his vehicle from the roadway several times. The driver got into his vehicle and backed up approximately 20 feet, which created a glare preventing the officer from seeing anything behind him. The officer discovered that the citizen was the wife of the driver. She stated she had a gun in her vehicle and that the driver, her husband, had a concealed weapons permit. The officer asked the woman if her husband was carrying a weapon and she stated that “he shouldn’t.” The officer requested assistance from backup due to the threat of the husband. When the officer approached the husband, he informed him that the woman had run a stop sign. The officer told him that his proximity to the traffic stop concerned him, and requested that he park in a business lot across the street. The driver stated, “No, she didn’t run any stop sign and I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The driver had concerns for his wife’s safety, and the officer reassured the husband that his wife was not in any danger, as he was an officer of the law. After the officer informed the driver that another officer was requested for backup due to safety concerns the driver exclaimed “Bring it on!” The driver repeated the phrase, “Bring it on!” and was physically challenging the officer. The officer informed the driver that he was being arrested for obstructing the traffic stop and ordered him out of the vehicle. The driver refused and the officer had to grab the drivers left arm and pull him from the vehicle. The driver continued to pull in the opposite direction and grabbed his phone while saying, “I’m calling 911.” The backup officer arrived at that time and helped remove the driver from his vehicle and place him in handcuffs.
The driver retained Meldon Law and we were able to negotiate with the State Attorney’s office. We were able to inform the State Attorney about the driver’s compelling background, long history in the community, and lack of any prior criminal history, which they considered when discussing the options. We ultimately were able to enroll the driver in a Deferred Prosecution program. This program established specific requirements that, if met, would result in the State dropping the charges against the defendant. The driver completed the program successfully and the charges were dropped.