Driver arrested after stalling car on U.S. 31 and being found asleep


By the Daily Journal, Franklin

For The Republic

EDINBURGH — Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Columbus man on several drug charges after his car stalled on U.S. 31 near Edinburgh and he fell asleep in traffic.

Charles Fitzgerald Russell, 24, was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine, a Level 5 felony, possession of cocaine, a Level 6 felony, and possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor.

Deputies responded about 4:30 a.m. Monday to a report of a traffic hazard on U.S. 31 just north of State Road 252 in Edinburgh. Russell’s car was stopped in a southbound lane of U.S. 31 with its flashers on. The right rear tire was shredded as though it had been driven on a flat for an extended period of time, according to a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office report.

A deputy approached the vehicle and found Russell asleep behind the wheel. The deputy knocked on the window, but Russell did not wake up. The deputy called for backup, according to the report.

The deputy and an Edinburgh police officer knocked on the window again and Russell woke up, but was disoriented and ignored their commands to exit the vehicle, the report said.

They eventually got him out of the car. When they opened the driver’s side door, they immediately smelled burnt marijuana and found marijuana laying on the floor, according to the report.

The deputy also found a plastic baggie in Russell’s left front pants pocket that contained less than 30 grams of marijuana, and a plastic bindle that contained 6.9 grams of a white powder that later tested positive for methamphetamine. In Russell’s right front pants pocket, the deputy found another small baggie of suspected marijuana, the report said.

Inside the car, the deputy found a small plastic bindle that contained a 1.2 gram rock of crack cocaine, and another plastic baggie that contained 6.4 grams of methamphetamine. The deputy also found more marijuana, small cigars and a new, unopened clear smoking pipe, according to the report.

Russell was taken by ambulance to Johnson Memorial Hospital to be evaluated, then to the Johnson County jail where he is held on $5,500 bond.

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