Hit-and-run suspect arrested

Kenneth C. Curnow

Ridgecrest police arrested a suspect Thursday after investigating a report of a possible intoxicated driver. Witnesses reported that the suspect’s vehicle had hit two parked cars. When officers located the vehicle, the suspect reportedly approached officers with a loaded shotgun.

In the evening of July 12, Officer Bill Keys was dispatched to West Inyokern Road regarding the driver who had just left Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. The reporting party described the vehicle as a gold-colored Mercury sedan, last seen heading toward Inyokern Road.

The reporting party stated that she was inappropriately touched by the driver of the vehicle and that she even pleaded with the driver to not drive the vehicle because she believed he was very intoxicated.

A search for the vehicle was conducted; however, the vehicle was not located. Approximately half an hour later, Keys was dispatched to the 800 block of North China Lake Boulevard regarding a hit-and-run accident that had just occurred. The reporting party had followed the vehicle to that location and had witnessed the vehicle hit two parked cars in the 500 block of West Drummond Avenue.

All witnesses provided the same description of the vehicle and the same description of the driver of the involved vehicle. The reporting parties also provided the vehicle’s license plate number.

The vehicle was located in the 500 block of West Howell Avenue with a large amount of paint and body damage. The vehicle reportedly involved in the accidents on W. Drummond Avenue matched the description of the earlier DUI driver on West Inyokern Road.

Keys attempted to reach the owner of the vehicle and located Arthur W. Porter, 25, at the residence where the vehicle was parked. Porter reportedly had a loaded 12-gauge shotgun in his hands and pointed the shotgun at Keys.

Porter was ordered to the ground and was taken into custody without further incident by Officers Keys and Adam Shaffer. Porter was allegedly intoxicated and matched the description provided by all witnesses. He was arrested on charges of hit-and-run accident, DUI, and assault with a firearm against a police officer, and was booked at Kern County Jail in Ridgecrest, where he is being held on $70,000.00 bail.

Story First Published: 2012-07-18