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Posted: February 5, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Crime Briefs: Driver’s story changes several times

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Swink

A 20-year-old woman was arrested after officers reportedly noticed her driving erratically and found that the vehicle had no insurance on it.

Officers from the Covington Police Department were on Washington Street when they noticed a white Mercedes with a dealer tag from Alabama. After running the dealer tag, information reportedly came back stating "tag does not exist." While following the vehicle, officers noticed that the driver turned into the parking lot of a package store on Ga. Highway 36.

As the officer drove past, the Mercedes — which was exiting the store at Petty Street — reportedly slammed on the brakes and put the vehicle in reverse, driving backward at a high rate of speed, then allegedly stopping in the middle of the parking lot where two men reportedly exited the vehicle and started quickly walking toward the package store. The driver of the Mercedes parked the vehicle in front of the store at that time, according to reports.

Officers exited their patrol vehicle and stopped the two men. One reportedly told officers that he was catching a ride home, but when asked if he lived in Green Acres — which was the direction they were headed — he allegedly told officers that he lived in the opposite direction. According to reports, the officers asked the man why, if he was catching a ride home, he passed by the area where he lived and he reportedly had no answer for them.

The driver, identified as Paige Swink, allegedly exited the Mercedes as officers approached to speak with her and attempted to enter the package store but was stopped by officers. When asked where she was coming from, she reportedly told the officers she was giving "David" a ride but would not tell officers where she was coming from, according to reports.

Eventually she allegedly said that she had picked him up from his home but was reportedly unable to tell officers where he lived. When asked where they were headed, she allegedly said that "David called me and asked me for a ride." But when questioned as to where he wanted a ride to, she reportedly told officers that he didn’t tell her where. She also said that she had only met David that day and the reason she drove backward through the parking lot was because "they told me to."

When asked if the Mercedes belonged to her, she reportedly said that it did but could not explain why it had a dealer tag from Alabama. Eventually she allegedly told officers, "I don’t know, all I know is this guy gave me this car to drive and he said to tell you that I drive for him and he said to tell you I have insurance on it."

However, she was unable to provide the name of the company she drove for or the name of the man. She did tell officers that her mother lived in Tennessee, according to reports, and the reason that was significant was that the guy who gave her the car was dating her mom, although she had no idea where he was at the time.

The vehicle came back with no insurance but Swink insisted it was insured, though she was unable to provide the name of the insurance company, according to reports. She reportedly said that her mother’s boyfriend had told her there were two insurance cards in the car, but after a check by both officers and Swink, none were located.

Swink was arrested and transported to the Newton County Detention Center and the vehicle was towed. A check of the inside revealed an open bottle of beer under the passenger seat which was poured out.

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