EXCLUSIVE: Troopers Contact Crash Suspect Day Before [AUDIO]
The Wyoming Highway Patrol had contact the day before with the man accused of killing a pedestrian and crashing his pickup truck into a downtown building in Casper on Tuesday. Scott Coleman, 38, of Casper, had his initial appearance in Circuit Court Wednesday, where he faces five charges including driving under the influence and aggravated assault.
Coleman went missing the day before the crash and was contacted by Highway Patrol troopers after his truck broke down on I-80 outside of Evanston.
Sgt. Stephen Townsend, with the Highway Patrol, said Coleman's contact with troopers started and ended as a vehicle assist.
His truck broke down outside Evanston:
"The afternoon before the crash the troopers did interview him. They contacted his family, advised them where he was. He was lucid and talking normally, just like you and I are. They had no reason to hold him, in fact there was nothing they could hold him on.
An anonymous tip to K2 Radio said that Coleman's family was concerned about him and put out an "attempt to locate" notice, which troopers were aware of at the time.
He was located:
"Well it was just an attempt to locate. There is no arrest and hold; there's no warrant or anything like that."
Sgt. Townsend said because Coleman was lucid and not an apparent danger to himself or others, troopers did not have the power to detain Coleman, even at the request of family.
Couldn't hold him:
"Yeah, that's kind of the sticky part right there. We can talk to the person; if it appears that they are not a danger to themselves or others, then we have nothing we can hold them on. And like I say, when they were interviewing him, he was talking just like you and I are talking, no craziness, nothing out of the ordinary."