An early morning interstate patrol turned into a wild ride for an Alabama State Trooper Wednesday. It ended with three people arrested, one of them a young girl.
The officer was working on an already crowded Interstate 65 in the midst of rush hour when he spotted a suspicious green SUV.
One look inside the car told him he wasn't about to write an ordinary speeding ticket.
That encounter touched off an hour-long chase.
The fog wasn't gone from low lying areas when early morning commuters got a real eye opener on I-65; troopers carrying assault rifles after what first sounded like a routine day on the road.
"A trooper attempted to stop a green Dodge Durango for speeding," said spokesman Cp. Steven Jarrett.
Investigators say the officer was about to ask the driver for a license, registration and insurance when he picked up a sight and a scent that were equally disturbing.
"The trooper noticed open alcohol containers, a visible shotgun, an odor of marijuana, and the driver appeared intoxicated. A scuffle ensued with the driver, who fled into the woods on foot," Jarrett said.
With interstate traffic all around them, the other two suspects took off for Highway 31, the trooper and other officers in tow.
They didn't get far before luck and a crowded road worked against them.
"They crashed at the 186 exit on US 31 into another vehicle," explained Jarrett.
The trooper also ran into the woods and with backup helping nabbed both suspects, including a young girl.
It's probably dinner table talk for most of us, but apparently not for lawmen.
"Just another day, highway patrol," said Corporal Jarrett.
State troopers have identified two of the suspects in this case.
They are 20 year old David Alexander, who they say was the original driver of the car, and Kirkland Woodside. He just turned 24 about a week ago.
Both men are charged with a long list of traffic offenses, receiving stolen property, obstructing police, and in Woodside's case, reckless endangerment.
The girl police arrested is under the age of 18, so officers aren't identifying her, but she is also charged with receiving stolen property.
Prosecutors say all three may face more serious charges. The green Dodge was taken at gunpoint from a Jefferson County driver October 24th.
Right now, officers there are trying to determine if any or all of the three caught are responsible for that crime.