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Driver asleep on U.S. 1 gets rude awakening

RELATED: See more crime news from the Fredericksburg region


Nana Djobeng Yaw, 29, pleaded guilty in Stafford Circuit Court to possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, felony eluding and possessing a firearm as a felon. He will be sentenced April 11.

The charges against Yaw were the result of a bizarre April 4 incident in which he fell asleep while stopped on U.S. 1 near Austin Park Drive north of the county courthouse.

Yaw was about a mile from home when his vehicle stopped in a travel lane shortly after 5 a.m.

Another motorist called police and said the driver had been there at least five minutes and appeared to be asleep.

The motorist stayed behind Yaw with his car’s flashing lights on until Deputy Dimas Pinzon arrived.

According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Sandra Park, Pinzon knocked on the car window several times before opening the car door and shaking the driver. The car’s transmission was still in drive.

Pinzon finally woke Yaw and asked him to put the car in park. Instead, Yaw took off south on U.S. 1 as Pinzon raced back to his cruiser.

Yaw turned onto Austin Run and then onto Wayside Court, the street he lived on at the time. He got out of the car and ran to the woods with Pinzon close behind.

The pursuit ended when Yaw ran headfirst into a cluster of trees and fell down. He continued to resist, but was eventually taken into custody.

Yaw was placed in Pinzon’s cruiser, where he immediately fell back asleep.

Police later searched Yaw’s vehicle and found crack cocaine and powdered cocaine. A handgun was found hidden in the trunk.

Because Yaw was already a convicted felon, it was illegal for him to have a gun.

Yaw also pleaded guilty Wednesday to driving while intoxicated, second offense. That charge stemmed from an incident that occurred on a different day, Park said.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404