Woman Charged With Felony Resisting Arrest For Driving To Safe Location During Traffic Stop


A 52-year old nurse states that she feared for her safety when she saw flashing lights in her rear-view mirror while driving down a dark country road at 11:21 p.m. in Portage, Indiana. In fact, she had recalled a case in nearby Valparaiso which saw a woman pulled over and attacked by a police impersonator.

Just two years ago, Portage Police Sgt. Keith Hughes issued some recommendations for how to handle traffic stops in non-public places in the wake of a similar failed incident:

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  • Motorists should call 911 if they question who is pulling them over.
  • If they cannot reach an operator, they should acknowledge the officer by waving or signaling to them.
  • They should then drive to a well-lit public location before pulling over, and explain their concern to the officer.

This is exactly what DelRea Good did when she saw the lights behind her on that country road. Good immediately put on her hazard lights, waved her arm out the window to signal to the officer, and then drove less than a mile to a well-lit Khol’s parking lot to pull over. Good was then handcuffed, and placed under arrest for felony resisting arrest by Porter County Sherriff’s Patrolman William Marshall.

As a reportedly angry Marshall approached Good’s vehicle he yelled:

What in the hell are you doing? I could arrest you for this.

When Good explained her actions and asked the officer to stop yelling at her, he reportedly would hear none of it. Marshall wrote in his report that Good was “highly agitated and uncooperative.” He did acknowledge that Good signaled to him out of her car window and used her flashers while driving to the nearby parking lot. Marshall claims that after he attempted to explain how her actions endangered others, she would not listen and he arrested her.

I felt I didn’t do anything wrong. I got to a safe place and I told him that.

As a nurse, Good states that she “follows the rules every day or people could get hurt.”

This is serious. This could be your mom, your sister, your daughter next time.

Sgt. Larry LaFlower, Porter County Sheriff’s spokesman states that “The Sheriff’s office supports our officer’s decision on this matter.” LaFlower went on to cite a state law which requires to yield to emergency vehicles.

The law which LaFlower is referring to is IC 9-21-8-35, which reads:

IC 9-21-8-35
Emergency vehicles; yield of right-of-way
Sec. 35. (a) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle, when the person who drives the authorized emergency vehicle is giving audible signal by siren or displaying alternately flashing red, red and white, or red and blue lights, a person who drives another vehicle shall do the following unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer:
(1) Yield the right-of-way.
(2) Immediately drive to a position parallel to and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway clear of any intersection.
(3) Stop and remain in the position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.
(b) Upon approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, when the authorized emergency vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing red, red and white, or red and blue lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall:
(1) proceeding with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least four (4) lanes with not less than two (2) lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
(2) proceeding with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle to a speed at least ten (10) miles per hour less than the posted speed limit, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.
(c) Upon approaching a stationary recovery vehicle, a stationary utility service vehicle (as defined in IC 8-1-8.3-5), or a stationary road, street, or highway maintenance vehicle, when the vehicle is

giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing amber lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle shall:
(1) proceeding with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the recovery vehicle, utility service vehicle, or road, street, or highway maintenance vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least four (4) lanes with not less than two (2) lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle; or
(2) proceeding with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle to a speed at least ten (10) miles per hour less than the posted speed limit, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.
(d) This section does not operate to relieve the person who drives an authorized emergency vehicle, a recovery vehicle, a utility service vehicle, or a road, street, or highway maintenance vehicle from the duty to operate the vehicle with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.
As added by P.L.2-1991, SEC.9. Amended by P.L.18-1999, SEC.1; P.L.39-2000, SEC.7; P.L.1-2001, SEC.6; P.L.14-2010, SEC.1.

Good wasn’t charged with failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, however. She was charged with felony resisting arrest.  Reddit user, u/probablyeveryone pointed out the distinctions in Indiana code:

IC 35-44.1-3-1 Version a
Resisting law enforcement
    
Note: This version of section amended by P.L.172-2013, SEC.11. See also following version of this section amended by P.L.158-2013, SEC.509, effective 7-1-2014.
Sec. 1. (a) A person who knowingly or intentionally:
(1) forcibly resists, obstructs, or interferes with a law enforcement officer or a person assisting the officer while the officer is lawfully engaged in the execution of the officer’s duties;
(2) forcibly resists, obstructs, or interferes with the authorized service or execution of a civil or criminal process or order of a court; or
(3) flees from a law enforcement officer after the officer has, by visible or audible means, including operation of the law enforcement officer’s siren or emergency lights, identified himself or herself and ordered the person to stop;
commits resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor, except as provided in subsection (b).
(b) The offense under subsection (a) is a:
(1) Class D felony if:
(A) the offense is described in subsection (a)(3) and the person uses a vehicle to commit the offense; or
(B) while committing any offense described in subsection (a), the person draws or uses a deadly weapon, inflicts bodily injury on or otherwise causes bodily injury to another person, or operates a vehicle in a manner that creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person;
(2) Class C felony if, while committing any offense described in subsection (a), the person operates a vehicle in a manner that causes serious bodily injury to another person;
(3) Class B felony if, while committing any offense described in subsection (a), the person operates a vehicle in a manner that causes the death of another person; and
(4) Class A felony if, while committing any offense described in subsection (a), the person operates a vehicle in a manner that causes the death of a law enforcement officer while the law enforcement officer is engaged in the officer’s official duties.
(c) If a person uses a vehicle to commit a felony offense under subsection (b)(1)(B), (b)(2), (b)(3), or (b)(4), as part of the criminal penalty imposed for the offense, the court shall impose a minimum executed sentence of at least:
(1) thirty (30) days, if the person does not have a prior unrelated conviction under this section;
(2) one hundred eighty (180) days, if the person has one (1) prior unrelated conviction under this section; or
(3) one (1) year, if the person has two (2) or more prior

The relevant section is 1 (a) part 3, in regards to fleeing. In Wellman v. State, 703 N.E.2d 1061 (1998) an intermediate appellate court in Indiana defined flight in their conclusion:

We conclude that “flight” in this context should be understood to mean a knowing attempt to escape law enforcement when the defendant is aware that a law enforcement officer has ordered him to stop or remain in place once there.

This decision, as pointed out by u/probablyeveryone cites to the Black’s Law Dictionary definition of “flee from justice:”

Removing one’s self from or secreting one’s self within jurisdiction wherein offense was committed to avoid arrest; or concealing one’s self therein, with intent, in either case, to avoid arrest, detention, or punishment for some criminal offense.

Good was not fleeing law enforcement based on Indiana Code. She was merely driving to a safe location as instructed by the very same police body that arrested her.

H/T: Nwitimes.com | Image: Wikimedia Commons

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