Driver accused of causing huge police response and traffic delays on SR 51 identified | Crime Files

Court documents have provided new details surrounding an incident on State Route 51 near Downtown Phoenix that resulted in the freeway being closed for some time during rush hour on Aug. 30.

The driver, according to DPS officials, was taken into custody following the incident.

Here are the details on the incident.

Who's the suspect?

D'aundre Willis

D'aundre Willis

Court documents we obtained on Aug. 31 identified the suspect as 28-year-old D'Aundre Terrell Willis.

At the time of the incident, court documents state Willis was carrying an Oregon identification. However, the same court documents also listed a Chandler home address for Willis.

Investigators also stated that at the time of the incident, Willis was on probation for felony flight.

What happened?

According to Sgt. Eric Andrews with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, people were reporting that a vehicle was stopped in the middle of the freeway with the driver slumped over inside.

In court documents, DPS officials stated that the vehicle was stopped in the southbound middle lane on SR 51. A trooper arrived at the scene at around 5:52 p.m., and saw a red Mercedes vehicle with a missing rear-view mirror on the driver side, as well as other damages on the driver side of the vehicle. The trooper believes the damage came from the vehicle side-swiping a wall.

Willis, according to court documents, was observed as being asleep on the driver seat, with his foot on the brake and the car still in drive. A trooper also spotted a weapon that was described as an "AK-47 style pistol" on the passenger seat, with a magazine in the pistol. Willis' hand was also near the firearm.

That was when troopers backed off, called for support, and blocked off the freeway "out of an abundance of caution," Sgt. Andrews said.

"The troopers on scene utilized multiple less-lethal methods to attempt to contact the driver, and to solicit a response," said Sgt. Andrews. "The driver did begin to move at that time. However, he was not compliant with commands on scene. At that time, the Phoenix Special Assignments Unit from the Phoenix Police Department arrived on scene and formulated a tactical plan."

Eventually, court documents state that Willis woke up, and surrendered to law enforcement peacefully, and was taken to the hospital before being booked.

A trooper noted in court documents that as Willis was being taken into custody, they could smell the odor of ‘intoxicants,’ as well as a smell of marijuana coming from Willis' person. Willis also had slurred speech and a marijuana cigarette behind his ear at the time he was being taken into custody.

"Willis also later admitted to drinking to medical staff, and his mother other the phone," read a portion of the court documents. :"Willis also had red blood-shot watery eyes." 

What is Willis being accused of?

Willis, according to court documents, is being accused of the following:

A judge has set a bond of $5,000 for Willis, and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 11.

Wasn't there another law enforcement incidents along SR 51 recently?

This incident happened about three weeks after a crime spree in Phoenix that involved an officer-involved shooting along the same freeway. The shooting reportedly happened near the Indian School Road area, and the suspect in the spree, identified as 33-year-old Carlos Delfin, is accused of committing numerous criminal offenses, including Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Theft of Means of Transportation, and Unlawful Flight from Law Enforcement.

Where it happened