WILLIAMSON COUNTY (KXAN) — Williamson County Deputy Tabytha Horseman saw the car parked at an intersection around 3 a.m. The traffic lights cycled through — red, green, yellow, red again. So she drove over to check on the driver.
“At this point, I didn’t know if the person needed help, if they had a heart attack, what was going on,” Horseman said.
She didn’t know that what she expected to be a welfare check, maybe even a traffic stop, would end with her dragged up the road and having to use her Taser on the person inside. The encounter on Feb. 7 near the State Highway 45 toll and County Road 172 was captured on her patrol vehicle’s dash cam.
She saw the driver, later identified as 22-year-old Jonathan Nunnally, wasn’t moving. But he was breathing. She shined her flashlight inside, then banged on the car door.
“He woke up in a panic,” Horseman recalled. The vehicle was still in gear and moved forward a little. He stopped it, and she took Nunnally’s keys and put them on the roof of the car. She asked if he was OK or needed EMS. The video audio appears to show him having difficulty following her requests for his license and registration.
“I don’t have it,” Nunnally could be heard saying. That’s when Horseman says he caught her off guard by reaching into the center console for a second set of keys.
‘I was in shock…’
“I was in shock and I leaned into the vehicle, put my hand on the steering wheel and tried to take it out, but at the time he had already hit the gas,” Horseman said. “The car was already revved up and put in gear. My feet came up from under me, and it was pretty scary.”
Horseman was balanced precariously and said she knew she couldn’t leave the car because she could be run over. She said Nunnally was leaning sideways with his head in the passenger seat and tried to kick her out. “He’s yelling at me ‘Get out, get out,’ and I’m telling him ‘Stop, stop,’ and it’s a struggle to get control of the vehicle.”
Horseman described it as a “life or death” situation for both her and Nunnally. She knew in the moment she had to stop the car. She reached over to put the car in neutral, then says she hit him in the face and managed to get ahold of her Taser and use it. “Before I grabbed my Taser it did cross my mind that I might have to use my firearm against him.” It didn’t come to that. Then, she put the car in park, about a half mile from where they started. Her supervisor, Sgt. Marco Gomez, had arrived by then and handcuffed Nunnally. He said later that she did absolutely nothing wrong during the encounter.
“It worked out for the best,” Gomez said. “It could have gone horribly wrong for her, and thank the good lord it didn’t. She did awesome.”
Horseman, who’s worked with the county for five years and became a deputy last August, said she had minor injuries and some bruising. She’s grateful for her fellow officers who have been supportive.
Nunnally faces a charge of aggravated assault against a public servant. Horseman said during the stop, she smelled alcohol and marijuana in his car. The Sheriff’s Office confirmed it found marijuana and a concoction of prescription cough syrup and soda known as “Sizzurp” in his car.