Lehigh Valley

Police watch as DUI suspect tosses beer out of car

Officers say driver initially refused to pull over

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Police allege they watched a Bethlehem man toss an open beer can out of his car while an officer trailed close behind trying to pull him over.

Authorities charged William E. Morales with DUI and fleeing from police following an early-morning pursuit through Bethlehem. District Judge Alicia Zito arraigned the 43-year-old Thursday, setting bail at $10,000.

Bethlehem police tried to stop Morales’ Mitsubishi Galant shortly before 2:30 a.m. Thursday on the northbound side of the Minsi Trail Bridge. An officer reported he spotted Morales make an “aggressive turn” from Buchanan Street onto the 700 block of East Fourth Street, spinning his tires and swinging into the oncoming lane, according to court records.

Morales allegedly drove through a red light at Daly Avenue and the bridge, failing to stay in his own lane, police said.

A pair of officers in separate cars reported that Morales ignored emergency lights and sirens, winding his way through the city until he slowed down along East Goepp Street long enough to open the driver’s side door and toss out a can of Budweiser Ice, according to court records.

From there, he drove north onto High Street and west onto the 200 block of East Fairview Street, where he finally stopped, police said.

Morales was immediately apprehended. Authorities said his eyes were bloodshot and watery, his speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol, according to records. He refused a breathalyzer test.

Officers allege they found an open 16-ounce Busch beer next to the driver’s seat and a baggie of cocaine on the floor.

A records check showed Morales, of the 200 block of Ettwein Street, was driving with a suspended license for a DUI charge.

Police charged Morales with fleeing and eluding, DUI, drug possession and 10 summary traffic offenses. He failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for Feb. 14.


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