Kansas' Republican State Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop was arrested last month for allegedly speeding and driving in the wrong direction on a divided highway. When the arresting officer attempted to check Suellentrop's blood alcohol content, the state senator called the officer "donut boy."
Information about the arrest was obtained by local station WIBW, after they filed a request for disclosure. It showed that Suellentrop's blood alcohol level was 0.17—over twice the legal limit.
GOP Kansas Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop was arrested for driving 90 mph down the wrong side of a highway, and h… https://t.co/tU9DCVix7M— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1618010565.0
The arresting officer also stated Suellentrop became "slightly aggressive in his tone" after being taken to the hospital for a judge-mandated blood test to determine his blood alcohol content. He had refused to submit to a breathalyzer test to obtain the information.
Gene Suellentrop was arrested for drunk driving 90 mph the wrong way on a highway. The 69-year-old Kansas Senate Re… https://t.co/zVouq4mG2x— Keith Boykin (@Keith Boykin) 1617970252.0
The officer said Suellentrop:
"looked me up and down stating he played state sports competitively in high school [and he could] take me."
Officer Austin Shepley of Capitol Police wrote about the pursuit leading up to Suellentrop's arrest, during which he drove up to 90 MPH in a 65MPH zone, and drove the wrong way on I-470.
"As the oncoming vehicle quickly approached, I narrowly missed the vehicle as it passed by, swerving onto the outside shoulder."
Officer Shepley then had to turn around and also drive the wrong way on the highway to pursue and stop Suellentrop.
While he was in pursuit, Officer Shepley witnessed Suellentrop's white SUV nearly collide with another vehicle. He determined he would need to perform a Tactical Vehicle Intervention (TVI) to get Suellentrop to stop.
While his first attempt was unsuccessful, the second attempt succeeded in getting Suellentrop's vehicle to stop after he nearly hit the center barrier wall on I-70.
When Officer Shepley approached Suellentrop's SUV, the senator failed to respond to commands to shut off and exit his vehicle. After the arrival of 2 Topeka police officers, Shepley continued to approach the vehicle and check Suellentrop's condition.
And yes, he has an A rating from the @NRA. Come get your good guy with a gun, boys! https://t.co/5Q46CxJrpH— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1618011662.0
He wrote Suellentrop:
"looked back at me with a confused, frightened, blank stare. He was not registering my commands or responding to them."
"While reaching into the vehicle I could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from inside the vehicle."
When the officers tried to remove Suellentrop from the vehicle, he tried to pull away. The officers reported his speech was slurred and he was difficult to understand.
They "noticed his eyes were watery, droopy, and he had bloodshot eyes."
"Walking to the Intoxilyzer room he struggled with keeping his balance and I had to hold him by the arm."
Suellentrop then refused the breathalyzer test, stating:
"I don't feel the need to do so."
After a blood test obtained via search warrant revealed Suellentrop's extremely elevated alcohol levels, he was transported to Shawnee County Jail.
And unbelievably, GOP Senate President Ty Masterson only expects Gene Suellentrop to resign from his leadership pos… https://t.co/Wm6buxItk2— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1618013411.0
@shannonrwatts If he had been African-American, his booking photo would have looked like this: https://t.co/ptXZyqvFuY— Timothy Kenison #EndCitizensUnited (@Timothy Kenison #EndCitizensUnited) 1618011570.0
A press release from the local District Attorney revealed:
"Suellentrop was subsequently released without bond later that morning when the Court found the arrest report was missing critical information."
Suellentrop was later charged with: Eluding or Attempting to Elude Police Driving Under the Influence, Reckless Driving, Driving the Wrong Way on a Divided Highway, and Speeding.