Alderman Traffic Stop Raises Concerns In Ocean Springs

A 16-year-old says she was scared to death when an Ocean Springs alderman forced her car off the road. Alderman Danny Jalanivich then had the teenager arrested for reckless driving.

Kristen Salmons says she did nothing wrong. Her mother has signed a similar charge against Jalanavich.

Jalanivich admits he was angry when he saw the teenager speeding through his neighborhood. He says he chased her in his car, while calling police on his cell phone. Both parties agree on those facts. But the rest of the story differs, depending on who you believe.

Kristin Salmons says she first thought Jalanivich was just an angry motorist when he was waving his arms and trying to pull her over on Highway 90 near Bristol Tuesday evening.

"And this guy pulled up to me yelling and screaming and showing me his cell phone. I thought he was just angry. And then he started coming into my lane," Salmons said.

She says Jalanivich forced her off the road and onto the shoulder.

"And he started telling my boyfriend that we were both going to jail and I was going to learn a lesson. He wouldn't tell us what he did. We asked if he was a cop and he said no, he was worse than the police. He was just cussing at us and yelling and I was scared to get out because I didn't know who he was or what his problem was," Salmons said.

Ocean Springs police arrived within minutes. Salmons was arrested, handcuffed and taken to the police station.

Alderman Jalanivich says he became angry after watching Salmons speed through his neighborhood on Twin Oaks Drive.

"I followed her, got her tag number, called it in and pulled her over up on the highway. And then the police came and took it from there," Jalanivich said.

As for pulling her over, Jalanivich says that was his intention after he'd witnessed the reckless driving on Twin Oaks.

"I don't know who else you're going to make a citizens arrest. I did what I think needed to be done," the alderman said.

Deputy police chief, George Mulvaney, could not talk about the specifics of this case because of the pending charges. He did tell WLOX News it is standard procedure to handcuff someone who is arrested on charges and then brought to the police station.

He also said, as a general rule, police do not recommend citizens pulling over others for traffic violations because of the potential for danger during such an encounter.

Jalanivich says the truth will come out in court.

"I guess it's a pending court case now, and let the judges and the lawyers decide what to go through from here," he said.