Apparent late night of drinking after prom resulted in a minor wreck and major problems for an 18-year-old Bridgeport High School senior last weekend.
“A patrol officer was tracking down a reported wreck in the 1600 block of Oak Ridge on the east side of town,” said Bridgeport Police Chief Randy Singleton. “A vehicle had wrecked at the end of a concrete driveway.”
Officer J.T. Manoushagian believed the driver of the vehicle, Gabe Huerta, 18, had been drinking. After undergoing a series of field sobriety tests, Huerta was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. A male passenger in the vehicle was not charged and was transported home. Neither was injured in the minor accident.
Manoushagian is well-trained in administering tests on potentially impaired drivers.
Huerta was booked into Wise County Jail early on the morning of May 5. He posted $2,000 bond and was released the same day.
It’s the second alcohol-related arrest for the high school football star in the past six months. On Nov. 4, 2012, Huerta was arrested by Runaway Bay police for minor in possession of alcoholic beverage.
That first arrest came one day after Huerta became his school’s all-time leading rusher. In the first quarter of a Nov. 3, 2012, game against Sanger, Huerta broke the 4,122-yard record set by Colin Jones, a TCU standout who currently plays for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL.
Then Runaway Bay interim Police Chief Rex Richie said Huerta’s arrest at that time was just the most recent in a string of arrests involving underage drinking at a house just outside city limits off County Road 1700.
“There were two vehicles parked in the middle of the county road,” Richie said. “I pulled up behind them and they all jumped up.”
Richie said both cars had teenagers who possessed alcohol. They were allegedly on their way to a house party located in the county.
“In the last four weekends, we’ve had 13 arrests for MIP – kids ranging from 13 to 20,” Richie said. “And we had one 21-year-old who was arrested and charged with DWI.
“All of them have been going to or coming from that house. This is not an isolated event.”
Some of the arrests have arisen from cars getting pulled over after breaking traffic laws or getting in wrecks or near wrecks. He said the teenagers arrested have been students from schools all over the county, including Chico, Bridgeport, Decatur and Paradise.
And he wants it to stop before something much worse than a misdemeanor arrest occurs.
“The inevitable is going to happen unless something is done,” Richie said. “I don’t want to knock on someone’s door at 3 a.m. and let them know that their child has died in an accident.”