Police: Driver flees, leaves son at scene

A Jennings County man was arrested after authorities said he fled from police, leaving his 4-year-old son behind.

Police were arresting James L. Earl, 35, of North Vernon, on a drunken driving offense Sunday, when he broke away from an officer trying to handcuff him, according to a news release from Indiana State Police.

That incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. on Country Squire Boulevard near Hoosier Drive when Trooper Stephen Wheeles pulled over a green 1996 Honda for a traffic violation.

While police were checking his driver’s license and vehicle registration, the man appeared to be intoxicated, and there was a 4-year-old boy in the back seat of the car, Wheeles said.

After conducting a roadside

sobriety test, Wheeles decided to arrest the man, later identified as Earl.

While he was being placed in handcuffs, the man broke away and ran, Wheeles said.

Wheeles said he caught Earl with the help of his police dog, Kane.

The dog bit Earl during the arrest, but the suspect refused medical treatment and also declined to take a breath test, Wheeles said.

During a search of the vehicle, police found marijuana, Wheeles added.

Child Protective Services was called to the scene to take care of the child.

Earl faces a Level 6 felony charge of neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 charge of operating while intoxicated with a minor present, a Class A misdemeanor charge of resisting law enforcement and a Class B misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.

Earl was taken to the Jennings County Jail on Sunday. He was released Monday after posting bond.