Laurel Sheriff: One van, two DUI arrests

MGN Online
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LONDON, Ky. (WKYT) - Deputies in Laurel County made two DUI arrests from the same vehicle. One of the people who was in that vehicle, though, says he was never behind the wheel.

Laurel County Constable Tim May says he noticed two women fighting in the parking lot of the Dollar General store on Barbourville Road. He says he pulled in to the parking lot and separated the two. He says he went into the store and found a man who'd been in the van hiding. He says when he went back out to the van, one of the women was trying to get back in, and wouldn't cooperate with him, so he tazed her. May says he called the Sheriff's Office for backup and when deputies got there, they charged Franklin Early and Taneha Whiteaker with DUI. They also charged Whiteaker with disorderly conduct.

"All this happened before we actually got one scene. Based on the investigation that we had, we determined that both persons had actually been in actual physical control of the van," Deputy Gilbert Acciardo said.

Early, though, says he was just a passenger in the van. He says the driver pulled over when two people inside began to fight.

"The van was pulled up to Dollar General. One guy that was driving, he was scared the police were going to come. He got out. Me, I went inside dollar general. I wasn't going to get involved and they had a cat fight outside. I am," Early said.

Deputies arrested a third person in the van, Shelley Baiarrio, on an outstanding traffic warrant. They also charged Early and Whitaker with driving on a DUI suspended license.

"I do not have a driver's license, I admit. And I was probably intoxicated, but at the time, I was not driving the vehicle," Early said.

We also reached out to the two others arrested. They declined our interview requests.

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