Slow-speed pursuit leads to DUI arrest in Rock Springs

SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYO – A slow-speed pursuit ended with the DWUI arrest of a Rock Springs man on the day before Thanksgiving, according to Sheriff Mike Lowell.

Late on the afternoon of November 21, an off-duty Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper called in a REDDI (Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately) report, describing an older blue pickup truck with a roll bar being driven erratically on Foothill Boulevard near Volcic’s Trailer Court west of Rock Springs.

Lowell said Deputy Sheriff Dave Thompson responded to the report and located the suspect vehicle—a 1985 Dodge pickup driven by Phillip J. Smith, 40. The truck was parked on a dirt road west of the trailer court.

Phillip Smith mugshot. (SCSO)

When Thompson flipped on the party lights, Smith took off, driving out onto Foothill Boulevard and turning into the court where he drove up and down its streets at speeds of 10 to 30 miles per hour. Several times, as he was pursued by Thompson, Smith drove out into the sagebrush adjacent to Volcic’s, but turned back into the court. During the pursuit, additional deputies, Rock Springs police officers, and Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers also responded

Smith continued cutting across lawns and driveways, at one point nearly colliding with a small pickup and then a passenger car. He did manage to hit a garbage can and an RSPD vehicle.

Road spikes were finally deployed. That deflated three of Smith’s tires. His Dodge pickup was forced to a stop just inches away from yet another vehicle. Smith was pulled from the cab by officers and handcuffed after a brief struggle.

Arresting officers smelled alcohol on Smith’s breath. His eyes were bloodshot and watery. Located inside the cab of Smith’s truck were several opened and unopened aluminum blue Bud Light beer bottles on the passenger side floorboard. An unopened 2-liter bottle of Black Velvet whiskey was also found on the passenger side floorboard.

As of press time, Smith remains in custody at the Sweetwater County Detention Center. He is being charged with DWUI, Attempting to Elude Police Officers, Failure to Maintain Liability Coverage, and Interference with Peace Officer.

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