Suspected drunk driver hits road signs on Manchester Expressway

Police arrested a 40-year-old man and charged him with possession of cocaine and drunk driving after he allegedly knocked down a directional pole and reflector pole on Machester Expressway Tuesday, according to a Columbus police report.

An officer started following Eraclio Gonzalez-Escalera after he noticed him strike a concrete median before turning onto I-185 around 4:40 a.m. When Gonzalez-Escalera exited onto Manchester Expressway, he hit the two street signs and stopped in the grass median before attempting to rev the car away from the scene.

The officer reported that the white 1988 Mazda's front bumper was laying about 40 feet behind the car when he asked Gonzalez-Escalera to step out. Both left tires were damaged.

Gonzalez-Escalera smelled strongly of alcohol when he began talking with the officer, according to the report. While they spoke, the suspect dropped a bag that appeared to contain cocaine. Another small bag was later found in his left back shorts pocket. The suspected narcotics totaled .5 grams, valued at $15, according to the report.

About $75 in damage was done to the directional pole and reflector pole, the officer reported. Gonzalez-Escalera was transported to the Muscogee County Jail.