The presence of police should make one feel protected, not paranoid, but one woman felt incredibly vulnerable given her whereabouts when she was being pulled over. However, her decision to protect herself resulted in her being arrested and charged with a felony crime.
Indiana resident DelRea Good assumed that the flashing lights from the car behind her were from a police officer’s vehicle, but she didn’t pull over immediately. As a 52-year-old woman traveling alone at 11 p.m. on a dark country road, Good was concerned for her safety.
Instead, Good waved her arm out the window and turned on her emergency flashers to acknowledge the police officer while continuing to drive for less than a mile. Good pulled over into a lighted parking lot at a Kohl’s department store in Portage.
Despite explaining to the policeman her reasoning for not pulling over immediately, she was handcuffed and taken to jail on a felony charge of resisting arrest. The charge not only blemishes Good’s previously clean record, it also could cost her her job as as nurse.
According to defense attorney Bob Harper, DelRea Good’s decision to drive to a less desolate location wasn’t an irrational one. There have been incidents in the past few years where criminals have impersonated police officers in Indiana. ‘I felt I didn’t do anything wrong,’ Good claimed. ‘I got to a safe place and I told him that.’
However, the Porter County Sheriff’s Department feels that their patrolman proceeded how he should have. ‘The sheriff’s office supports our officer’s decision in this matter,’ said spokesman Sgt. Larry LaFlower, citing that state law requires motorists to yield to emergency vehicles.
Working as a nurse, Good is no stranger to following rules, telling The Times, ‘I follow rules every day or people get hurt.’ Considering nurses are not allowed to work with a felony on their record, Good is worried about how this conviction will impact her career. However, she believes that the issue here is much bigger than herself, saying, ‘This is serious. This could be your mom, your sister, your daughter next time.’