Williamson County Justice of the Peace Bill Gravell helped authorities catch a man accused of drunk driving after the man almost sideswiped the judge on Thanksgiving Day, according to an arrest affidavit.
Michael Tyrell Morgan, 19, of Temple, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony, and driving while intoxicated.
Gravell said Monday that he was returning from Thanksgiving dinner with his family in Round Rock when Morgan almost sideswiped him around 5 p.m. on Interstate 35 North near FM 1431.
“At first I thought he was just a distracted driver but then I saw him weaving back and forth in front of me and almost hitting a black BMW,” Gravell said. Gravell said he was concerned the driver was impaired and worried about the safety of other drivers.
“I see dead people all the time from DWI’s,” he said. As a justice of the peace, Gravell goes to the scenes of fatal accidents and makes death pronouncements.
Gravell said he got the man’s license plate number and called 911. He then kept following Morgan north on I-35 until Morgan entered Bell County, Gravell said. But Morgan then turned around and drove back into Williamson County, stopping at a Shell gas station off the interstate in Jarrell.
“I thought ‘You have no idea what you’ve just done,’” said Gravell. Williamson County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Morgan at the gas station. Morgan told the deputies there was a bottle of alcohol in his car, the affidavit said.
A deputy also noted that Morgan was unsteady on his feet, had slurred speech, had multiple track marks on his arms and had a hard time staying awake, according to the affidavit.
Morgan told deputies he may have taken Xanax “yesterday or today but could not remember,” according to the affidavit. He also said he knew he was driving erratically, and said he was diabetic but didn’t taken any insulin or medication for it, the affidavit said.
A deputy found a small baggie with black tar heroin on the floor board of the driver’s side of Morgan’s car, the affidavit said.
Morgan was being held Monday in the Williamson County jail with bail set at $15,000.