A bathroom break on the side of the road leads to prison for convicted felon

Clifton Eugene Battle
Clifton Eugene Battle

With a stronger bladder, Clifton Battle might be a free man.

Last June, the 35-year-old Raleigh man stopped his car on Poole Road and got out to take a bathroom break, federal court records said.

Then a Wake County sheriff’s deputy came along and found Battle’s car idling in a travel lane, its driver standing by the open door in a puddle. He had glassy eyes, smelled of alcohol and explained that nature had called, according to court documents.

But the deputy spotted a Taurus .38 special revolver in plain view on the passenger seat, records said. And when he opened the trunk, he found a box of ammunition.

This was trouble.

Battle had already been convicted, in 2008, of possessing a firearm as a felon. This traffic stop triggered another federal case, and on Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle sentenced Battle to four years in prison.

A bit of helpful news, according to an online guide for incoming inmates: cells in federal prisons at the medium and high-security levels come equipped with their own toilets.

Sometimes the “perfect crime” doesn't quite play out as intended. Here are some criminals who could use some practice.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

Josh Shaffer covers Wake County and federal courts. He has been a reporter for The News & Observer since 2004 and previously wrote a column about unusual people and places.