‘A stupid decision’: Wells family releases statement after father of Summer Wells arrested on DUI charge

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UPDATE: Hawkins County Jail officials told News Channel 11 that Donald Wells is no longer in custody when asked if he had been released on bail. No arraignment dates or arrest reports have been released.

According to Hawkins County record-keeping app Mobile Patrol, Wells was released at 7:34 a.m. on Oct. 31.

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- The father of missing Hawkins County 5-year-old Summer Wells was arrested on Saturday night, according to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office.

Don Wells was reportedly arrested for driving under the influence.

According to Sergeant Betty Crawford with the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, Wells is facing multiple charges, including driving under the influence, having an open container, violation of financial responsibility and others.

Wells’ “financial responsibility” charge may have stemmed from driving uninsured, as Tennessee law requires drivers to provide evidence they can pay for repairs or damages after certain charges or accidents.

The most common way to satisfy financial responsibility laws is to hold auto insurance. Drivers can also place cash deposits with the Tennessee Department of Safety.

Wells was also charged with improper lane usage, which Tennessee law says in part that a “vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from that lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety”

Wells was held on a $5,750 bond, and was released at 7:34 a.m. on Oct. 31 according to Hawkins County records.

Wells’ daughter, Summer Wells, was reported missing from her home in the Beech Creek community of Hawkins County on June 15, 2021.

No other details regarding his arrest have been released.

The Wells family has posted a statement following Don’s arrest on the blog section of their website- FindSummerWells.com.

It’s titled ‘Thank you for the prayers’ and reads-
“thank you everyone for kind messages. There are no words to what each day and night is like. We needed cigarettes. IT was a stupid decision. Please keep us in prayer. Keep Don. This pain wont go away. thank you”

The AMBER Alert lists the following details for Summer:

  • Age: 5
  • Sex: Female
  • Race: White
  • Hair: Blonde Eyes: Blue
  • Height: 3′
  • Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Missing From: Rogersville, Tennessee
  • Missing Since: June 15, 2021

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office at 423-272-7121 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned with News Channel 11 online and on-air for updates.

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