A reckless driver in a Jeep Cherokee on Pioneer Avenue about 8 p.m. June 25 prompted two people to make 911 calls. Police said several people also called on the nonemergency line. When the driver hit a stop sign at Forest Glen Drive off the Sterling Highway, that got the attention of an off-duty Alaska State Trooper driving by. The trooper then followed the woman.
By the time Homer Police caught up with the suspect, Michelle Henley, 43, she kept driving her car forward and backward and kicked up gravel in a driveway on Forest Glen Drive. In a criminal complaint by Homer Police Officer Nathan Hull, police said when Henley got out of the car, the trooper noticed a syringe in her right hand. Hull seized the syringe and in the complaint said it tested positive for heroin. Henley faces charges of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, a felony, and misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and driving without insurance.
In his complaint, Hull said one of the 911 callers followed Henley. The caller reported a person in a gray Cherokee drove into the opposite lane, bumped the curb and slid through the Pioneer Avenue and Sterling Highway intersection. The caller followed the Cherokee as it drove north on the Sterling Highway. The trooper joined the chase after he saw the Cherokee hit the stop sign.
Hull said when he seized the syringe, Henley told him it wasn’t hers but “Jason’s.” Hull wrote that he noticed the syringe was uncapped and had blood on the needle. Hull arrested her at the scene.
During booking, Hull said Henley told him that she took prescription drugs: Ambien, a sleep aid, and Suboxone, a drug to reduce withdrawal symptoms for opiate addiction. She said the Ambien caused her to see things that are not there, and that she had medical issues that could contribute to her poor driving. Henley took a preliminary breath test at the station and had a zero breath-alcohol content.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.