The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

October 13, 2013

Police say driver was arrested for racing drunk

ANDERSON — Anderson police arrested an Anderson Speedway driver after he allegedly intentionally crashed into another car after being flagged out of the race.

Tommy Grant Lathan, 49, of Anderson, was arrested Sunday morning and charged with one count of operating while intoxicated, one count of criminal recklessness and one count of intimidation.

Anderson Police Department public information officer Joel Sandefur said Lathan was black-flagged and forced out of a race Saturday night. He went back in the race, however, and intentionally crashed into another racer, Sandefur said. Neither driver was harmed in the accident.

Sandefur said that after the race, officers smelled alcohol on Lathan's breath and spoke to several witnesses who claimed Lathan had been drinking alcoholic beverages between races. He also said Lathan's driving raised suspicion that he might be under the influence.

"I have never seen this before in 18 years," Sandefur said. "But this is not something that is going to be tolerated."

Early on Sunday, Anderson police also obtained a warrant to take a blood sample from Lathan. Sandefur said after talking to witnesses they believed a sample was necessary and believed they had enough evidence to allow for one.

The sample will be sent to a lab for testing to determine what Lathan had in his system Saturday night. Sandefur said the results won't be in for a couple of weeks.

Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB or call him at 640-4847.

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