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Posted: July 9, 2009 1:56 p.m.

Man tries to elude police by fleeing in his parked car

A man who awoke to find deputies outside of his vehicle reportedly attempted to flee, but forgot to turn his vehicle on first late Thursday night.

Deputies from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office were called to an area around mile marker 100 westbound on Interstate 20 in reference to a possible drunk driver. When they arrived they found the vehicle with all lights off, appearing abandoned. But when deputies approached they allegedly found 36-year-old Jose Reyes Gomez-Meza apparently asleep behind the wheel.

Attempts to wake Gomez-Meza, who reeked of alcohol according to reports, were unsuccessful several times. Eventually he came to after deputies yelled and knocked on the car door.

Gomez-Meza woke with a start and reportedly looked in his mirror and yelled, then attempted to drive away by moving the steering wheel. The only problem was that his vehicle was in park and turned off. When he noticed it was in park, Gomez-Meza allegedly attempted to put the vehicle in drive before finally realizing the car was turned off.

While he was attempting to drive the vehicle, which was turned off, the deputies tried to talk with him. When Gomez-Meza finally realized the vehicle was turned off, he reportedly reached for the keys. Deputies told him to exit the vehicle but initially he ignored their requests, according to reports. He was asked again to exit the vehicle and it was at this time that he allegedly looked over and said. "Oh, hey officer," then complied with the request to exit the vehicle.

When he exited he appeared to be unsteady on his feet, according to reports and smelled of alcohol. Deputies asked Gomez-Meza if he had anything to drink and he reportedly said that he’d "had a few."

After allegedly failing several sobriety tests, Gomez-Meza was arrested and transported to the Newton County Detention Center where he was charged with DUI.

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