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Posted: March 1, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Mooner, drunk driver arrested

Woman falls out of truck while mooning bystanders

Newton County residents who happened to be at the area of U.S. Highway 278 and Turner Lake Road Thursday might have noticed an unusual sight - a full moon at around 5 p.m. when two women were driving around, one of them hanging her rear out of the window to moon those passing by.

Officers from the Covington Police were called to the area by a concerned citizen who believed the driver of the brown truck with a camper shell and Oklahoma plates was intoxicated. The complainant also reportedly told dispatchers that the driver of the truck was swerving and that a female fell out of the window of the truck, but was able to get up and get back into the vehicle.  

The officer found the truck in the parking lot near Food Depot and Waffle House but by the time he turned into the shopping center the truck had moved and was traveling south through the lanes of parking spaces. The vehicle turned around and went back though the lanes and parked once more. Though the behavior was odd, it was not illegal, and the officer pulled up beside the truck and approached the driver, identified as 47-year-old Teresa Taggart.  

According to reports Taggart rolled down her window voluntarily. While speaking with her about the complaints, the officer noticed a large smear of blood on the passenger door and could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from the passenger area along with the aroma of burnt marijuana. He also saw a Crown Royal bag which, according to the report, is commonly used to hold drugs, sitting on the center of the bench seat beside Taggart.    

Taggart allegedly told the officer that her passenger was quite drunk and had fallen out of the truck window while mooning people. She reportedly told the officers her passenger had gone into the bar [Mickey D’s]. One of the officers went inside the bar and retrieved the passenger, identified as 30-year-old Kacee Thole.  

Officers asked Taggart to step outside the vehicle so they could continue to speak with her and noticed that when she exited she was extremely unsteady on her feet, using the truck to steady herself, and that her eyes appeared “glassy” and “droopy.”  

She reportedly admitted to officers she had consumed “two big mugs” of beer at Mickey D’s approximately 45 minutes earlier. Officers tried to figure out why Thole went back into the bar and left Taggart driving around the parking lot but, according to reports, having a conversation was “near impossible.” According to reports the officer would ask Taggart basic questions, such as where she was coming from, and she would tell him where she was going. Based on that fact as well as the unsteady gait, glazed eyes and other indicators, the officer surmised Taggart was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was unsafe behind the wheel of her vehicle.  

Taggart allegedly agreed to perform field sobriety tests, but even after removing her boots, she was reportedly unable to complete the tests.

Officers performed a search of the truck with her consent. Inside her purse the officers reportedly found a wooden pipe, commonly used to smoke marijuana. In the Crown Royal bag they found a plastic bag with between one-third and one-half an ounce of marijuana inside. According to reports Taggart admitted the pipe was hers but denied any knowledge of the Crown Royal bag and its contents. Thole also reportedly told officers she knew nothing of the liquor bag or its contents. She did, however, allegedly tell officers that she had come into Mickey D’s earlier that day and purchased $140 worth of marijuana but had lost it somewhere between the bar and the hotel room she was staying in so the two had returned to the bar to try and buy more.  

While speaking with Thole, officers noticed a large laceration on her right hand and called EMS to the scene to look at the injury. Thole allegedly admitted to officers that she was very drunk and had been mooning people and flashing people out of the window of the vehicle. She reportedly said that she had somehow fallen from the window of the truck, hurting her hand in the process.   

After being cleared by EMS, Thole was placed under arrest for possession of marijuana and public drunkeness and Taggart was arrested and charged with a combination DUI (being under the influence of both drugs and alcohol) and possession of marijuana.   

Animal Control was called to the scene to take possession of the two dogs that were inside the camper shell of the truck and the vehicle was parked in the parking lot and left locked at Taggart’s request, according to reports.  

Both women were transported to the Newton County Detention Center but once they arrived the medical staff at the jail declined to take custody of Thole due to her injury, in spite of her having been previously cleared by EMS. She was transported from the jail to the Newton Medical Emergency Room.

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