Attorney accused of driving drunk with loaded gun, Ambien


A veteran defense attorney was arrested Thursday night after several residents called police to report a Mercedes with two flat tires was “swerving in and out of traffic lanes” on Kingston Pike, records show.

Attorney Tommy K. Hindman, 71, is charged with driving under the influence, possession of a loaded handgun while under the influence, simple possession of the sedative Ambien, and violation of the state’s implied consent law for refusing a breathalyzer.

Two flats and ‘swerving’

Knoxville Police Department Officer Bradley Heath wrote in an arrest warrant that several motorists began calling the E-911 center around 6 p.m. Thursday to report “that a silver Mercedes was traveling west on Kingston Pike with two flat tires on the passenger side, swerving in and out of traffic lanes and going extremely slow.”

The car — with Hindman behind the wheel — eventually stopped in the parking lot of a business in the 7200 block of Kingston Pike, and that’s where Heath found him, according to the warrants.

“I made contact with the defendant who was standing outside of a silver Mercedes in which the two passenger tires were flat,” Heath wrote. “When asked, he stated he had driven the vehicle to this location. The defendant was observed to have slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and was very unsteady on his feet.”

Heath wrote that Hindman “refused to perform any field sobriety testing and refused to submit to any breath or blood chemical testing.”

The officer found “a small plastic baggie in his right pants pocket, which contained one (Ambien) pill,” the warrant stated. “An inventory search of the vehicle revealed a loaded Glock 43 handgun in the glove box.”

The warrant does not state whether Hindman has a handgun carry permit.

Witness: ‘Unsteady and stumbling’

A witness — identified in the warrant as James Warner — told Heath he was traveling behind the Mercedes on Kingston Pike.

“Warner stated that Hindman’s front passenger tire was flat at this time and that the rear passenger tire popped as they were passing … Wesley Drive,” Heath wrote. “Hindman continued to drive and drifted out of the right lane of traffic several times until he pulled into the parking lot …

“At this time, Warner saw Hindman step out of the vehicle and observed that he was unsteady on his feet and was stumbling as he was trying to make a phone call,” Heath continued.

Hindman is set to appear for arraignment on the charges July 26.

This is not Hindman’s first brush with the law.

He was caught in 1988 by the Tennessee Highway Patrol with a 16-year-old girl, drugs and nude photos of that girl in his car. Prosecutors determined the photos were taken at a hotel in Gatlinburg and, in September 1989, Hindman pleaded guilty in Sevier County Circuit Court to using a minor for obscene purposes.

He was spared a jail term and later regained his law license. In the decades since, Hindman has handled a slew of high-profile criminal cases in Knox and surrounding counties.

Former Prosecutor Arrested for Fourth DUI

Lynn Haven, Fla. – A former prosecutor was arrested for the fourth time on DUI charges.

Richard Albritton III, was arrested by Lynn Haven Police earlier this week and appeared before a judge Thursday afternoon.

Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet ordered Albritton to sign up for a pre-trial release program. Under the terms of the program, there will be zero tolerance for alcohol consumption.

Albritton has never been convicted of DUI but he has been convicted of lesser charges stemming from DUI arrests.

However, according to court records in New York City Albritton is also currently facing a felony charge for “criminal possession of a firearm.”

In 2015 his license to practice law was suspended for 60 days by the Florida Bar.

That suspension came from a 2012 arrest for driving under the influence, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. According to documents obtained from the Bar Albritton accepted a new driver’s license even though he knew his license had been suspended. Albritton also signed a statement saying that his driving privileges had not been revoked.

Longmont man accused of driving car toward neighbors while drunk

Abel Elizondo

Abel Elizondo (Boulder County Sheriff’s Office)

A Longmont man accused of driving under the influence and aggressively maneuvering his car toward neighbors on Monday is facing three felony counts of menacing with a deadly weapon, among other charges.

Abel Elizondo, 38, was arrested Monday on suspicion of three counts of attempted vehicular assault, three counts of menacing with a deadly weapon and single counts of reckless driving and driving under the influence.

According to an arrest affidavit, one of Elizondo’s neighbors in the area of the 200 block of Maggie Street said he was speeding around the neighborhood and its alleyways while she was walking her dog.

After Elizondo attempted to park in his garage, his neighbor asked him what he was doing, as he had nearly hit her and her dog, according to the affidavit. She asked him to slow down and turn down his music.

According to the affidavit, Elizondo re-entered his car and drove toward his neighbor at a high speed, as if he was trying to hit her. The car came within 3 feet of her, she told police.

Elizondo then exited his car again and was confrontational, according to the affidavit. The neighbor told police he was clearly drunk.

Two other neighbors had heard Elizondo’s tires squealing and went outside. They told police they were afraid Elizondo was going to hit his neighbor, so they moved closer.

Elizondo then got back into his car and drove toward the two other neighbors as if trying to hit them, according to the affidavit, again stopping within 3 feet.

One neighbor told a police dispatcher that she was going to arm herself with a knife during the confrontation because she was afraid of Elizondo. The officer at the scene said she was still shaking when he spoke to her.

Elizondo’s landlord also told police that he has a “serious alcohol and drug problem,” according to the affidavit.

Earlier that night, another Longmont police officer had responded to a call at Elizondo’s residence. The officer said Elizondo was visibly intoxicated and admitted to drinking, according to the affidavit. The call was just prior to when Elizondo was reported driving aggressively around the area.

Elizondo will make his first appearance in court Wednesday afternoon.

He is being held at the Boulder County Jail without bail because he poses a flight risk due to previous failures to appear in court, according to the arrest affidavit.

According to Colorado courts records, Elizondo was previously convicted on charges of theft, obstructing a peace officer, robbery and attempted robbery, among other charges and traffic infractions.

Former officer charged with driving under the influence while on duty

A former Cal State Fullerton police officer was charged Thursday with driving under the influence while on duty on the campus.

Thomas Henry Higgs, 59, is facing misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, court records show.

Prosecutors allege that Higgs showed “objective signs of intoxication” during a briefing at the college police department at about 8 p.m. on May 7, 2018. They also allege that he drove a marked patrol car around the campus with a blood alcohol content of .09 percent.

Higgs’ fellow officers notified their command staff, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Higgs was arrested that night, cited, released and driven home by another employee, Cal State Fullerton police Capt. Scot Willey said.

Willey confirmed that Higgs is no longer employed by the department. The captain said the department supported the OCDA investigation and the decision to file charges, but declined to comment further due to the ongoing court case.

Higgs worked for the Cal State Fullerton Police Department for 27 years, rising to the rank of sergeant, Willey said.

Prosecutors on Thursday sent Higgs a letter outlining the charges he is facing and ordering him to appear in court for an arraignment on Aug. 2.

If convicted, Higgs faces up to six months in county jail.

Former Cal State Fullerton officer charged with driving under the influence while on duty

Manhunt for DUI shooting suspect enters second day

BOZEMAN – Law enforcement continued searching through the night for a man who authorities believe to be armed and dangerous.

The incident started near Bozeman on Wednesday when a Park County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to pull over a vehicle for suspected drunk driving, according to law enforcement.

A day of searching for the suspect has turned up nothing after he fired shots at police during the chase. There was nonstop activity north of Interstate 90 at Quinn Creek Road near Bozeman Pass on Wednesday where officers staged their search efforts.

The sound of a helicopter flying overhead woke many people in the area – and then by neighbors or police – as word made its way around quickly that an armed man was on the loose.

Challenged by terrain, the massive search effort to bring Shaunesy Cole into custody Wednesday included law enforcement from local, county, state and federal agencies with both SWAT and FBI.

Authorities say the 37-year-old, three-time felon is known to them, and not just because of his past but also due to current investigations.

Authorities say it all started when they got a 911 call about a drunk driver in a white sedan.

“They made a stop on it. The stop didn’t last very long,” said Park County Undersheriff Clay Herbst. “The driver – the male – was was obstructing the investigation and then he fled.”

Herbst said when authorities caught up with Cole he pointed a pistol out the window and fired at them.

Authorities backed off and found the car a few miles up the road being driven by a woman who was previously the passenger. She was arrested and charges are pending.