Crime - Sacto 911

Carmichael woman arrested after driving away from traffic stop with deputy hanging on

Brittney Nicholls
Brittney Nicholls Sacramento

A 26-year-old Carmichael woman was arrested Saturday after allegedly fleeing the scene of a Fair Oaks traffic stop in her Mercedes while a Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy tried to hang on to her through a car window.

Brittney Nicholls was identified after her driver’s license was left at the scene near Winding Oak and Long Canyon drives.

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau found Nicholls just before 9 a.m. at a residence in the 6500 block of Greenback Lane, according to the Sheriff’s Department. They also found several firearms at the Citrus Heights location, nearly 7 miles away from the traffic stop.

Nicholls was booked at the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of resisting arrest, assault with a deadly weapon and violating probation. She is being held on $140,000 bail and faces arraignment on Tuesday.

The traffic stop occurred just before 3:30 a.m. Saturday when the sheriff’s deputy spotted a man who appeared to be running away from a Mercedes with paper license plates. The deputy told dispatchers what he had seen and then pulled over the Mercedes. The man on foot also stopped.

The deputy made contact with the man, then approached Nicholls, the driver of the Mercedes. He asked for her license and paperwork and told her to step out of the car, which she did.

“The female then quickly jumped back into the car. The deputy attempted to detain the female from inside the car, when she quickly put the car in drive and accelerated while the deputy was hanging on,” according to a Sheriff’s Department news release.

“The deputy unholstered his firearm, and in the process of disengaging from the speeding car, discharged his firearm at the suspect,” the release stated. Nobody was hit by the gunfire, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

As the female driver and an unidentified female passenger sped away, the man ran away.

Besides finding Nicholls, sheriff’s detectives identified and interviewed the passenger and fleeing man on Saturday. Detectives released them after questioning.

Sgt. Tony Turnbull, a spokesman for the department, said in an email that the deputy was taken to the hospital with injuries to his upper body. He was at home Sunday recuperating, Turnbull said.

Nicholls pleaded no contest to misdemeanor drug possession in 2012 and received probation, according to Sacramento Superior Court records. She also pleaded no contest in 2014 to felony drug possession and no contest in 2015 to felony charges related to selling drugs and joyriding.

The Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Professional Standards Division will conduct an independent review into Saturday’s incident, standard for any officer-involved shooting within the department’s jurisdiction, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and inspector general will also review the incident.

The deputy, a 13-year veteran of the department, will be placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation and is assigned to the Field Services Division, according to the Sheriff’s Department.