Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Naked News

GONZALES — State troopers chased a nude driver from East Baton Rouge Parish to Ascension Parish early Monday morning after the man tried to hit them with his pickup truck, a trooper said in a news release.

Sgt. Markus L. Smith said Monday afternoon troopers have no idea why the man was naked.

The chase began just after 2:30 a.m. near the State Fairgrounds on Airline Highway and ended when the driver, 25-year-old Bryan Batulis Jr. of Jennings crashed in a ditch on Coontrap Road near Gonzales, Smith said.

The incident began when state troopers were diverting southbound traffic off Airline Highway toward a turnaround in the median, Smith said. The troopers were investigating a fatality a few days earlier.

Batulis would not stop, so troopers tried to pull him over.

One trooper approached the Ford F-350 pickup truck to remove the driver but Batulis sped up and hit the trooper in the leg with his truck, Smith said.

At another point during the chase, Batulis tried to run over two other troopers attempting to get him to stop in the parking lot of Frank’s Restaurant in Prairieville, Smith said.

Instead of stopping, Batulis again stepped on the gas and tried to hit the troopers. The troopers fired at the truck’s right front tire and deflated it, Smith said.

Batulis was later booked with three counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, two counts of aggravated flight from an officer, one count of resisting arrest, one count of driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance, and two counts of reckless operation of a motor vehicle, Smith said.

Batulis and the trooper who was injured was treated for minor injuries and released from St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales.

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