Suspected drunken teen driver claims she was carjacked

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The following news release was sent by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office:

YARNELL - On December 14, 2008, at approximately 12:40 A.M., a Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputy was traveling north on Highway 89 outside of Yarnell and was nearly struck by a southbound vehicle which had entered his lane. After the near head on collision, the deputy turned around and attempted to catch the driver. As the deputy pulled behind the vehicle, a 1997 green Geo Metro, he activated his lights and siren. The driver refused to stop, accelerated and turned west on Shrine Road, then south on Luna Way. The driver continued to the end of Luna Way, attempted to negotiate an embankment but became stuck on the embankment's edge. Two females exited the vehicle and ran into a nearby ravine while refusing orders to stop.

When assisting units arrived on scene, the two females came out the darkness and contacted deputies. Both claimed they had been carjacked by Hispanic men and ran from the area because they were terrified. The pair told deputies they were on the way to Phoenix from Prescott Valley and stopped to give the men a ride. The men entered their vehicle and forced both of them to the back seat and continued driving towards Yarnell. As they passed a YCSO patrol vehicle, both men panicked and began to flee as the deputy pursed them. When the vehicle became disabled, the woman fled with the men out of fear they would be hurt by not cooperating.

During the investigation, the pursuing deputy confirmed the clothing worn by the fleeing driver was the same clothing worn by 18-year-old April Newman from Prescott Valley, who was now detained. She also had the strong odor of alcohol on her breath and person. Eventually, Newman's passenger admitted they made up the story so Newman could avoid a DUI charge. Newman continued refusing to admit she had been driving. Several opened alcoholic beverages were found inside the vehicle. Her initial breath alcohol concentration was measured at .17.

Newman was arrested and booked at the Prescott Detention Center for Extreme DUI, DUI under Age 21, Felony Flight, and Underage Alcohol Consumption.

Back on December 3rd, 2008, another DUI suspect had also reported a fictional carjacking in Cornville to YCSO. She was eventually charged with DUI after crashing her vehicle into an embankment and running from the scene.