Driver arrested on charge of OWI after witness reports erratic driving

Columbus police arrested a local driver on a felony charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated after she was stopped with a 1-year-old child in the vehicle.

Officer John Morphew was sent to check on the driver at 6:30 p.m. Friday after a witness reported that there was a vehicle traveling with an unrestrained child on Marr Road near County Road 450N, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

The caller told police the driver ran off the road several times and slammed on her brakes in an attempt to get the caller to crash into her, Harris said. The caller later told police the driver stopped her SUV on Arnold Street and got out of the SUV holding the child.

Morphew found the vehicle and driver, later identified as Andrea Rhoades, 43, Columbus, Harris said. When standing outside the vehicle holding the child, Rhoades was visibly upset and refused to follow the officer’s commends, Harris said.

She then attempted to get back into the SUV and pushed Morphew’s hand away when he attempted to stop her, Harris said.

A Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputy arrived and took the child from Rhoades, who continued to struggle with Morphew, Harris said. Rhoades was taken to the ground and handcuffed, and refused to submit to a chemical test to determine intoxication, Harris said.

Officers received a search warrant and took her to Columbus Regional Hospital for a blood test, Harris said. She was then taken to the Bartholomew County Jail on charges of felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated, resisting law enforcement and possession of marijuana, jail officials said.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.