OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers were shocked to find a two-year-old in the backseat of a suspect’s vehicle after investigators say her drunk father led law enforcement on a chase in Oklahoma City.
Desmon Johnson sits in the Oklahoma County Detention Center, facing several charges of speeding, child endangerment and a DUI.
“Is he eastbound or westbound?” a dispatcher asked.
“Southbound on I-44,” a trooper said. “They are running about 110 miles per hour in a 45.”
Right before rush hour Tuesday afternoon, Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a chase started in the center of town with the suspect crossing through construction at Interstate 235 and Interstate 44.
“He is reaching to his right,” a trooper said on dispatch. “I don’t know what he is doing.”
Gary Hightower, one of the troopers who was behind the white sedan, tells KFOR the suspect’s vehicle was topping speeds of 115 miles per hour while weaving in and out of traffic.
“The driver started reaching down in the floorboard,” Hightower said. “We thought he was reaching for a gun.”
A few miles later, OHP says the driver chose an abandoned gas station off I-44 and Penn to surrender.
However, when troopers were searching the car, they found Johnson wasn’t alone.
“I checked the vehicle for more occupants, and that’s when I saw the baby standing in the back car seat,” Hightower said.
Troopers found Johnson’s two-year-old daughter unbuckled.
“I decided to take the baby to the patrol car to be warm,” Hightower said. ” You just don’t want to leave the baby in the car during all this.”
Hightower is a 22-year veteran with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and a father himself. He says he saw a Spongebob Squarepants toy in the backseat, so he decided to search Spongebob on YouTube on his phone to keep the toddler calm.
The two sat together in Hightower’s patrol vehicle for about 20 minutes until her mother was able to arrive.
OHP found an open vodka bottle in Johnson’s car. Johnson was also wanted on unrelated felony warrants.