Sedona AZ (September 1, 2016) – On August 31, 2016, at approximately 7:45 in the evening, a Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputy traveling west on County Road 15 towards Bagdad, Arizona, drove up behind a silver passenger car moving in an unusual manner. The vehicle would speed up and slow down for no apparent reason, continuing this pattern for some distance. A records check of the California license plate revealed the vehicle, a 2013 Kia Optima, was reported stolen on August 22, 2016, out of Lodi, California.
After coordinating assistance from area units, the YCSO deputy activated her overhead lights at Mile Marker 12, now on Highway 96, but the driver failed to yield and pulled away at high speed. Deputies followed the vehicle for several miles until it entered the community of Bagdad on Main Street. It appeared the vehicle’s driver was unfamiliar with the area because there is only one roadway in and out of the town.
Fortunately, there was little to no traffic nearby as the vehicle continued deeper into the Bagdad community. Eventually the suspect entered the mine operations parking area, stopped briefly, made a U-turn and attempted to exit the parking lot by going around a marked patrol vehicle. Failing to completely exit, the suspect turned into a posted No Trespassing portion of mine property and ended up in a wash where the vehicle became stuck. The suspect and driver, 29-year-old Christopher Casteel from Georgia, was detained along with his girlfriend, 27-year-old Stacy Brock, from Tennessee.
Casteel admitted fleeing from the deputies because he knew the Kia was stolen. Casteel had taken the Kia from a fast food restaurant parking lot in Lodi, California, and admitted he and his girlfriend were just ‘joyriding’ to no particular place at the time. During the discussion with Casteel, the deputy detected impairment from marijuana use and he admitted using marijuana within the previous two hours. The deputy, a certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), conducted specialized field sobriety tests and determined Casteel was DUI. A urine sample later tested positive for THC and methamphetamine.
During a search of Brock’s purse, deputies found prescription pills and two types of narcotics based controlled substances. Brock had not been issued any prescriptions for the items. A needle used to inject methamphetamine was also located.
Casteel was booked on charges including Auto Theft, DUI with drugs, Aggravated DUI/Revolved License, and several counts of illicit Possession of Prescription Drugs. He remains in-custody on a $30,000 bond. Brock was booked on charges including Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (felony level) and illicit Possession/Use of Prescription Drugs. She remains in-custody on a $2500 bond.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website www.ycsoaz.gov.