Deputies: Alabama player drove 141 mph to evade traffic stop
Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023
BONIFAY, Fla. (AP) — Suspended Alabama freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell drove over 141 mph (227 kph) while trying to evade deputies before his arrest on drug charges in the Florida Panhandle last week, authorities said.
Mitchell and another man, who was a passenger in Mitchell’s car, were arrested Wednesday and charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. The other man also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit. Holmes County is located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Panama City and shares its northern border with Alabama.
According to the report, a deputy spotted Mitchell’s black Dodge Challenger traveling 78 mph (125 kph) in a 55 mph (88 kph) zone on a rural highway north of Bonifay Wednesday night and attempted to pull the vehicle over. The deputy reported that the Challenger accelerated to over 141 mph (227 kph), and the deputy discontinued pursuit after several miles. Less than 10 minutes later, the deputy spotted the Challenger again while sitting at an intersection in Bonifay. The deputy activated the patrol car’s lights and resumed pursuit. The Challenger eventually pulled into a residential area and stopped.
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During the traffic stop, deputies reported smelling marijuana and noted that Mitchell appeared confused. During a search of the car, deputies recovered 8 ounces (226 grams) of marijuana, $7,040 in cash, a set of scales and a loaded 9mm handgun, the arrest report said.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday after the first practice of spring that Mitchell was suspended from the team “and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is.”
“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”
Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a five-star prospect rated the 34th-best player and No. 3 safety in the 247Composite rankings.
Online court records didn’t list a defense attorney for Mitchell.