On June 21 at approximately 10:45 p.m., Mineral County Dispatch received a 911 call from a party who said an orange truck struck their vehicle and left the scene. The sheriff’s department dispatched Deputy Kyle Leslie and Sergeant Mickey Boyles to the scene.
After taking statements from the victims the officers caught up with the suspect at approximately 11:21 p.m. on the 100 block of N street. The officers requested a tow truck at the scene.
The officers placed Thomas Lee, 32, who resides at space 26, Whiskey Flats RV Park, under arrest. The officers said Lee appeared heavily intoxicated. They could not issue a DUI as they reported Lee had consumed alcohol after the initial crash.
The officers arrested Lee on charges of hit and run of unattended vehicle and careless driving,
At approximately 11:45 p.m. Leslie reported the suspect escaped from the back of his car. At 11:56 the suspect was reported back in custody. The officers transported an apparently still grossly intoxicated Lee to the county jail where they leveled additional charges including resisting a public officer, obstructing a police officer, malicious destruction of property and a gross misdemeanor escape charge. Bail was set at $10,700.
Sheriff Stewart Handte said Lee is a convicted felon with a lengthy criminal history. “He’s got some DUIs, he’s got resisting public officers and fighting offenses,” Handte said. He also said Lee had numerous other arrests for violent offenses including several convictions for spousal abuse and an arrest for child endangerment with substantial bodily harm.
Handte said Lee’s predilection for domestic violence eventually caught up with him. In 2010, Lee served 20-50 months in prison after his third conviction for felony spousal abuse.
“He’s a domestic batterer who likes to drink, drink and drive, and likes to fight with officers. He’s got some issues that need to be taken care of. He’s not learning his lessons and we will be more than happy to accommodate him and enforce our lessons upon him,” Handte concluded.