OKEECHOBEE — During a traffic stop on June 23, one Okeechobee police officer was reportedly struck and one was almost hit by a second vehicle which jumped the curb as they were writing the citation on the first vehicle. According to the report, Officers Jessica Francis and Raul Marrero were both present at the traffic stop. While Officer Francis was writing the citation for the first car, Officer Marrero yelled at her to, ”Look out!” and she looked up in time to see a second car had jumped the curb and sidewalk nearly striking her and her patrol car.
Officer Francis ordered the driver, identified as 21-year-old Amanda Lowe of Port Saint Lucie to shut the vehicle off immediately, and she reportedly smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from Lowe. In addition, her speech was slurred and her eyes were red and runny, she reported.
Officer Francis ordered her to shut the car off several more times, she said, before Lowe put the vehicle in reverse in an attempt to back away. Officer Marrero was behind the car at that time and was struck by the vehicle but, because it was hung up on the curb, he was able to push off the car with his hands.
Once again, Officer Francis reportedly ordered Lowe out of the vehicle, but she refused to get out, and finally, the officer reached in, unbuckled her and removed her from the car. As she was removing her, Lowe reportedly became very belligerent and was placed in handcuffs.
The passenger in Lowe’s vehicle informed the officers they had just come from a nightclub and allegedly said Lowe had been drinking but refused to say how much.
In plain sight inside the vehicle was reportedly found a clear glass pipe, which led to a free air sniff by K-9 Luna. After a search, Lowe was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana less than 20 grams, resisting an officer without violence and DUI. Bond is to be set.