SAFFORD – Late Tuesday night, an officer witnessed a vehicle traveling down Relation nearly hitting the curb and then crossing the double yellow line, entering oncoming traffic and then over-correcting resulting in almost hitting the curb again. The police officer made a U turn to approach the vehicle from behind. When the vehicle came to the intersection of Relation and 14th Avenue, the driver made a left-hand turn from the right hand lane without signaling, even though there is a left turn lane. As the vehicle made the turn, the driver’s tires were in the oncoming traffic lane, crossed the double yellow line before ending up in the correct lane.
The officer made a traffic stop and spoke with the driver who was identified as Manuel Lorenzo Salazar. The smell of an alcoholic type beverage was noticed as well as Salazar having bloodshot and watery eye’s along with slurred and mumbled speech. When asked how much he had to drink, Salazar stated he had consumed “a couple shots.” When asked how drunk he felt he was on a scale of 0 to 10, Salazar reported he felt he was “about a 5.” Salazar agreed to taking some sobriety tests including the breath test that registered at 0.13%.
Salazar was advised he was being placed under arrest but when the officer attempted to place cuffs on his hands, Salazar quickly jerked his hand away and began running down 14th Avenue. The officer grabbed onto Salazar’s T-shirt but Salazar was able to slip out of it. The officer then grabbed onto Salazar’s torso and assisted him to the ground as Salazar continued to struggle and refused to comply to the officer’s commands. Salazar got to his feet a second time continuing his struggle to get away from police. When a second officer deployed a taser, Salazar became compliant and surrendered.
Lifeline arrived to evaluate any injuries sustained, and determined there were no emergency injuries or any that were life threatening. Salazar was escorted to the Safford Police Station where he consented to a blood draw and was fingerprinted and released. The vehicle was removed from the scene. Charges for DUI are pending.