On May 16, at approximately 10:18 p.m., Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy J.J. Lopez was dispatched to an accident on Highway 329 at the train tracks. Dispatch advised him that the vehicle hit some of the railroad signal equipment and was still on the train tracks.
Prior to his arrival, dispatch was advised that the male subject that was driving the vehicle involved in the accident was telling the 911 caller that he did not want the cops involved. They also advised dispatch that the male subject did not speak English well.
When Lopez was about a quarter mile away, he was then advised that the driver had begun to run south on the train tracks away from the accident.
Lopez arrived on scene and was told that the suspect, a Hispanic male wearing a blue long sleeve shirt, was last seen him running down the train tracks.
At this time, Cpl. James Gilbert with the De Queen Police Department arrived to assist Lopez with traffic, so Lopez decided to drive south next to the tracks a little bit to see if he could find the suspect. After driving a short way, Lopez found the suspect attempting to hide in some bushes along the train tracks.
He approached the man, who he recognized to be Aurelio Marrufo, and asked him what he was doing. Marrufo said that he had been in an accident and did not know why he left.
“While speaking with Marrufo I smelled an odor associated with the consumption of alcohol coming from his person,” Lopez wrote in his report. “At this time due to it raining very heavily, I detained Marrufo and had him sit in my vehicle as I drove us back to the scene of the accident.”
Lopez asked Marrufo what had happened and he said that it was raining very hard and he could not see very well and he lost control and that’s how he wrecked. Marrufo told police he had drank about eight beers. He said that he was heading home and was coming from Nashville.
Marrufo was told by Lopez that due to the weather, he was going to transport him to the jail and have him perform some field sobriety tests, Deputy Kevin Cross arrived to assist and said that he would stay with the vehicle waiting on the wrecker while Lopez went to the Jail with Marrufo.
Marrufo blew a 0.192 on the portable breath machine and was read his DWI rights after taking field sobriety tests.
The BAC machine gave a final reading of 0.189 at 10:06 p.m. at which time Marrufo was handed over to the jail staff and advised that he was being charged with DWI and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.