MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An Atoka man is facing several charges after authorities say he drove drunk, hit a concrete barrier on the highway and plowed into several mailboxes.
Another driver saw the entire thing and decided to take matters into his own hands, following the suspect home.
“I got behind this guy and he was swerving, driving pretty erratically,” Michael Mann said. “Pulling into the other traffic, making cars slow down, honk their horns and stuff.”
Mann was driving north on Austin Peay Highway around 6 p.m. Friday when he saw something he just couldn’t ignore.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking watching this guy. I figured he was gonna hurt somebody or hurt himself,” he said. “So, it was pretty hard to watch, so I just figured I’d better call and get some assistance getting him to stop.”
Mann called police and followed behind, watching as the accused drunk driver allegedly hit a concrete barrier on the highway and plowed into mailboxes on Rosemark Road.
“I was a law enforcement officer back several years ago, so it was kind, just kinda being in that frame of mind and seeing that, it was just kinda hard to watch and let that continue,” he said. “I was kinda wishing could pull him over myself.”
He followed for miles until the driver, Juan Parks, 38, made it to his house on Mulberry Road in Atoka.
According to court records, when investigators showed up, they found a side mirror on Parks’ Jeep broken and other damage to his SUV. Detectives also found parts of his mirror near one of those broken mailboxes.
Investigators say Parks admitted to having “a few drinks,” and refused field sobriety tests and a blood draw. Deputies performed a breathalyzer test and eventually got a warrant to draw blood.
Parks was arrested for DUI, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
Mann tells WREG he’s just glad he was in the right place at the right time, and that no one was hurt.
“We all got family – I have family and everybody’s got family that travel up and down that road, and there’s just no room for something preventable like that,” he said.
Aside from a few minor traffic violations, Parks has no prior criminal history in Shelby County. He will be in court Monday.