San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 7th, 2009
Weekend wreck on interstate could result in felony charges

STAFF REPORT

Police are trying to figure out what caused a vehicle rollover on the interstate this weekend that could result in felony charges including kidnapping or deadly conduct.

Officers arriving on the scene at 1710 Interstate 35 found a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis overturned after having rolled over while being driven by Joseph Padilla, 19 at about 1 a.m. Saturday, San Marcos police Sgt. Dave Waugh said.

Padilla and passenger Sara Haines, 19, were intoxicated and injured but refused transport by ambulance, setting off a ruckus in which Haines had to be pried from Padilla’s grip, Waugh said. At one point Haines ran toward traffic and had to be restrained, Waugh said. Both were detained and sent to Brackenridge Hospital, Waugh said.

Because Padilla and Haines told police that Haines grabbed and turned the moving car’s steering wheel during an argument, the case was referred to investigators as a deadly conduct charge, in addition to potential charges of driving under the influence and interferring with police. Later, however, Haines’ father told police she was taken against her will and was trying to escape her captor. The case is still under investigation, said Sgt. Mike Wellman, a Criminal Investigations division supervisor.

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