Asheville Police Officer Drug On Interstate; Suspect Arrested - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Asheville Police Officer Drug On Interstate; Suspect Arrested

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. - An Asheville Police is recovering in her home after she was drug 130 feet down I-240W. 

According to Sgt. Dave Romick, shortly after midnight Saturday, Officer Brien Griffin initiated a traffic stop for suspicion of driving while impaired on I-240W near the Charlotte Street exit. 

Officer Griffin gave instructions to the driver but the driver was uncooperative to follow any of the instructions. 

Senior Officer Ann Fowler, a 16 year veteran and part of the DWI Task Force, arrived on scene to assist Officer Griffin. The driver continued to ignore the instructions. The officers then tried to remove the driver from the vehicle. That's when Officer Fowler's arm was grabbed by 31-year-old Celso Avila-Aguilar and pinned it to the steering wheel. He then took off, dragging Officer Fowler 130 feet down then interstate. 

She pulled and fought with Avila-Aguilar to free herself from the life threatening situation. Once free, she fell in the middle of the interstate. She managed to avoid having other vehicles hit her and was able to call for an ambulance as well as provide a description of the vehicle.

Avila-Aguilar continued west on I-240 when he rammed an Asheville Police Department patrol car on the Cpt. Jeff Bowen Bridge. He continued west to Jackson's Curve where the vehicle, after sustaining significant front end damage, could not operate any further. It stopped on Haywood Road. Additional APD officers arrived and placed Avila-Aguilar into custody. 

Senior Police Officer Ann Fowler was transported to the hospital where she was treated and released. Her injuries were not life threatening and she is recovering at home.

Celso Avila-Aguilar has been charged with Second Degree Kidnapping, Assault with a Deadly Weapon on Government Official, Assault with a Deadly Weapon Serious Injury, Felony Flee/Elude Arrest, Assault on Government Official Misdemeanor, Injury to Personal Property, Reckless Driving to Endanger, and Driving While Impaired.

He is in custody at the Buncombe County Detention Facility on $100,000 bond. Additional information will be released when it becomes available.
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