Cherokee County commissioner arrested on DWI, evading arrest charges

Cherokee County Pct. 2 Commissioner Steven Norton has been arrested following a Friday incident in which he is accused of driving drunk and not being cooperativ
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 11:17 AM CDT
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CHEROKEE COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Cherokee County Pct. 2 Commissioner Steven Norton has been arrested following a Friday incident in which he is accused of driving drunk and not being cooperative with law enforcement.

Norton, 51, is charged with driving while intoxicated and evading arrest. He was arrested on Friday at 8:56 p.m.

According to an arrest affidavit, Norton asked officers “if we knew who he was” and called a DPS trooper a derogatory name.

The affidavit states Norton was driving recklessly from Jacksonville to Rusk and dispatch received multiple calls that he was running people off the roadway on U.S. 69 before he turned west on FM 2972. A deputy saw the vehicle then turn left on Loop 343 and he turned on his lights to stop Norton. The affidavit states Norton did not stop and kept driving on FM 343 at speeds of 35 to 45 mph. He then turn on FM 23 and then on FM 2206 and into a residence.

The deputy reported pulling his gun and yelling at Norton to step out of the truck. The affidavit states Norton got out of the vehicle and looked in the deputy’s direction and said “what?” The deputy reported holstering his gun and grabbing Norton and placing him in hand restraints. The deputy reported Norton would not respond when he was asked why he did not stop and seemed very confused. The deputy reported a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath.

A DPS trooper reported arriving on the scene and he noticed Norton had glassy bloodshot eyes, a strong smell of alcohol, poor balance, slurred speech and he was intrusive when asked how much he had to drink. The affidavit states Norton seemed irritated and was starting to act aggressive in his attitude and he asked “if we knew who he was.” The trooper asked Norton if he wanted to attempt a field sobriety test and Norton refused, according to the affidavit.

The trooper reported seeing in plain view a 1.75-liter bottle of whiskey and two-thirds of the bottle was empty. The trooper reported Norton called him a derogatory name as they walked to the vehicle.

The affidavit states Norton refused to voluntarily give a blood sample so a warrant was obtained and officers were able to get a blood sample from Norton at a Jacksonville hospital.

The affidavit states at one point, Norton “leaded forward in a quick manner and made a noise. This seemed like an attempt to scare the nurse or myself.”

Norton’s attorney, Frank Dobrovolny, said Norton has been advised not to comment on the incident and referred to a post on Norton’s personal Facebook page:

“I want to apologize to all my family, friends, constituents, and law enforcement personnel for the poor judgment I displayed last night. I accept full responsibility for creating this incident. I have never been in any kind of trouble in my life. This is not who I am…I may have had 3 or 4 speeding tickets in my entire driving career. I promise with all my heart I had no intent to evade arrest. I didn’t see any lights until I was in my driveway. I promise everyone that I will fully take responsibility for my actions and that, going forward, I will uphold the high standard of behavior that is expected of me. I know I am better than this.”

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