ATLANTA (CN) – Reese Witherspoon’s performance as an outraged citizen failed to impress the Georgia state patrolman who arrested the actress and her husband on DUI and disorderly conduct charges.
State Trooper J. Pyland wrote up the incident that he says began Friday at about 4 a.m. What turned out to be Witherspoon’s husband, James Toth, was in the driver’s seat of silver Ford Fusion that swerved in and out of its lane over the double yellow lines, Pyland wrote in the incident report.
After Pyland stopped the car, he wrote, “I approached the driver, Mr. James Joseph Toth, and told him that I needed to see his license. Mr. Toth handed me his license and I explained the reason for the stop. As I explained the reason for the stop, I observed that Mr. Toth’s eye lids were droopy. Mr. Toth’s eyes were blood shot and watery.
“I smelled the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mr. Toth’s breath. I asked Mr. Toth how much he had to drink. Mr. Toth stated a drink. When asked where he had his drinks, Mr. Toth looked at the passenger, Mrs. Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon, and she began to answer. Mrs. Witherspoon stated that he had his drink at a restaurant. Mrs. Witherspoon stated that the drink was consumed two hours prior to the incident.”
Pyland wrote that after Toth consented to a field sobriety test, Witherspoon got out of the passenger side of the car.
“I told Mrs. Witherspoon to stay in the vehicle and she sat back in the vehicle,” Pyland wrote.
“I had to tell Mrs. Witherspoon several times to get back into the vehicle before she did so. I told Mrs. Witherspoon that I would arrest her the next time she got out of the vehicle. I finished HGN with Mr. Toth. I went and explained to Mrs. Witherspoon the reason why I wanted her to stay in the vehicle. The reason was for my safety. Mrs. Witherspoon stated, ‘Yes sir.’ “
Witherspoon then got mouthy, according to the incident report.
“After I had administered the PBT [Preliminary Breath Test], Mrs. Witherspoon began to hang out the window and say that she did not believe that I was a real police officer,” the report states. “I told Mrs. Witherspoon to sit on her butt and be quiet.
“I placed Mr. Toth under arrest for DUI. When asked his age, Mr. Toth stated that he was 42 years old. I had Mr. Toth sit on my push bumper. Mrs. Witherspoon got out of the vehicle and walked up to me and Mr. Toth. I asked, ‘What had I already told you?’ Mrs. Witherspoon asked what was going on. I told Mrs. Witherspoon that Mr. Toth was under arrest. I told Mrs. Witherspoon to get back into the car. Mrs. Witherspoon stated that she was a ‘US Citizen’ and that she was allowed to ‘stand on American ground.’ I put my hands on Mrs. Witherspoon’s arms to arrest her. Mrs. Witherspoon was resistant but I was able to put handcuffs on her without incident due to Mr. Toth calming her down.
“Mrs. Witherspoon asked, ‘Do you know my name?’
“I answered, ‘No, I don’t need to know your name.’ I then added, ‘right now.’
“Mrs. Witherspoon stated, ‘You’re about to find out who I am.’
“I stated, ‘I am not worried about you ma’am.’ I stated, ‘I already told you how things work.’
“I told Mrs. Witherspoon that she was obstructing my investigation of Mr. Toth. I placed Mrs. Witherspoon in the rear of my patrol car on the right side. …
“I took Mrs. Witherspoon out of the right side and placed Mr. Toth in the right side of the rear of my patrol car. As I put Mrs. Witherspoon in the left side rear of my patrol car, she told me her name. Mrs. Witherspoon also stated, ‘You are going to be on national news.’ I advised Mrs. Witherspoon that was fine.”
Pyland took Witherspoon and Toth to the Atlanta pre-trial jail and turned over the car to a tow company.
Toth’s alcohol level was 0.139, above the legal limit of 0.08, Pyland wrote.
The couple were released early Saturday morning. A preliminary hearing on the charges is pending.
Witherspoon, who was in Atlanta filming the movie, “The Good Lie,” apologized through her publicist.
“Out of respect for the ongoing legal situation, I cannot comment on everything that is being reported right now. But I do want to say, I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said. It was definitely a scary situation and I was frightened for my husband, but that is no excuse. I was disrespectful to the officer who was just doing his job. I have nothing but respect for the police and I’m very sorry for my behavior,” the actress said.
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