Witness cell phone video out of Richmond, Va., shows a seemingly drunk woman inexplicably getting out of a DUI.
The incident started around 12:30 a.m. early Sunday morning after a car crash took place on East Broad Street. According to witnesses, a man driving a small SUV hit a parked car. Police arrived at the scene and arrested the driver of the SUV. But as police and witnesses remained outside at the scene of the accident, something far more strange took place.
According to witness S. Preston Duncan, a woman driving well over the speed limit blew through two stop signs and almost hit police and witnesses at the scene of the accident.
“The car blew through the stop sign without decelerating, and we were forced to flee the street towards the sidewalk,” Duncan wrote in a post recapping the incident. “The oncoming vehicle slammed on its brakes, swerved around the damaged vehicles, nearly hitting the cop car (lights still blaring), and [was] forced to a stop, right where we had all been standing, by one of the officers tending to the accident.”
Duncan says the woman driving the car seemed out of control after being stopped.
According to Duncan, the driver “nearly immediately breaks into hysterics, alternating between what sounds like crying and laughing, and demanding the cop tell her what she "legally did wrong." She then got out of her car, spilling the entire contents of her purse on the street while trying to argue with the attending officer, and stumbled around for a minute before being told to get back in her car. She repeated this scene, minus the purse spilling, at least three times, each time being told forcefully to return to her vehicle. She also hit her face on her steering wheel so hard her horn sounded.
Witnesses then heard the girl mutter words about her father to the attending officer. The officer allowed the girl to call her father, and about 30 minutes later a truck arrived at the scene. A middle-aged man and his wife got out of the truck.
“The Fiat driver once again got out of her car, and started stumbling towards the man from the truck, yelling unintelligibly about the situation,” Duncan wrote. “He shouted, ‘Katie, shut up and get back in the car! I'm going to let them take you if you don't get back in the car NOW!’”
The man and an officer at the scene then walked away and spoke for a few moments. Upon returning, the man walks the incoherent girl from her car to the truck. The man’s wife gets in the girl’s car and drives away. Here’s the complete video:
All together, it looks like someone who at the least should have been administered sobriety tests was let off the hook because of a convenient social connection. The Richmond Police Department says it is aware the cell phone video and is investigating the matter.
When three good Samaritans spotted a blue mini-van driving erratically on a New York highway this past Monday, they boxed him in and called police.
Driver Briana Cole says the driver, 48-year-old Paul Kostraba, was all over Interstate 390.
“I thought somebody was going to die,” Cole told 13WHAM-TV.
Driver Josh Kuba said he suspected Kostraba was having a medical emergency, but when he didn’t respond to attempts to get him to pull over he realized Kostraba might be intoxicated.
Kuba pulled his truck in front of the van to prevent Kostraba from exiting the interstate. Kostraba slammed into his truck.
Cole pulled up behind the van to block him from getting out. A third driver parked alongside Kostraba until police arrived.
“There was no way for him to move,” Cole said. “He tried to start his car and tried to go again, but he had nowhere to go.”
Kostraba was booked into Livingston county jail for DWI and other charges. His license was revoked.
Livingston County Sheriff Tom Dougherty said deputies at the scene described Kostraba as “highly intoxicated,” although they do not know what his blood alcohol level was.
His wife, who was allegedly intoxicated as well, was a passenger in the van.
While Dougherty says the public isn’t encouraged to make such interventions, he thanked the three drivers.
“They felt that this guy was putting everybody in danger,” Dougherty said. “And they didn’t have time for the police to arrive.”
On the night of January 13, 2013, Austin police stopped driver Larry Davis after he ran a stop sign near U.S. 290 and Interstate 35. Davis told them he had only had one drink, but the officers noted that he appeared intoxicated based on his performance in a field sobriety test.
Although Davis insisted he was not drunk, according to the Statesman, the officers took him to the local jail, where he was given a Breathalyzer test.
The test’s results supported Davis’ claim: he blew a 0.00, the lowest possible reading.
Davis also voluntarily took a blood test, the results of which did not come back for months, but which also ultimately returned negative results.
Davis’ arrest last January meant that he spent a day in jail, and was at the center of a criminal case that lasted for more than a year.
Because he was declared indigent, the county picked up his several-hundred-dollar legal fees.
Although police have said that the decision they had to make in this particular case is one they are often presented with, defense lawyers say it shows how “overzealous Austin police can be in making DWI arrests.”
In fact, by the take-no-chances policy by which police operate, if a driver looks drunk, he/she will be arrested, and the court system will work it out in the future.
What this results in is about 30 percent of DWI cases being dismissed.
After viewing the police dash cam footage of Davis’ arrest and reviewing evidence, defense lawyer Daniel Betts said that his “reaction was just shock that it happened.”
Police have stood by their decision to arrest Davis, contending that he may still have been under the influence of drugs such as marijuana at the time.
Cmdr. David Mahoney, the arresting officers’ supervisor, has spoken out in support of the decision. “If there is someone who is possibly impaired, we don’t want them driving,” said Mahoney.
“We need to get them off the road, so that was probably (the officer’s) mindset,” Mahoney continued.
Last week, prosecutors dismissed the case against Davis. Davis is now working to have his arrest record wiped clean, which could take another several months to complete.
“I was arrested for nothing, really,” Davis said. “It was suspicion of drunk driving, which I wasn’t so I was surprised and hurt at the same time.”
Photo Source: http://oaklawn.patch.com
A California man was sent to jail for six years Monday when he was convicted of his eighth driving under the influence charge.
Pablo Servin Sanchez, 50, had a blood alcohol content of at least .31 percent when he was arrested last year. The legal limit is .08 percent.
On Oct. 3, he backed his pickup truck across a highway at 11 a.m., nearly hitting a big-rig.
He was also driving with a suspended license when he was arrested.
“Too many people are injured in our community by DUI drivers,” District Attorny Jill Ravitch said in her statement. “Mr. Sanchez has repeatedly chosen to ignore that risk.”
Of the eight convictions on his record, which span more than 20 years, Sanchez was convicted four times of felony DUI.
Superior Court Judge Shelly Averill sentenced Sanchez to the maximum six years. His license is to remain revoked for 10 years after he leaves prison.
A Texas mother recently confronted a drunk driver jailed for the 2009 collision that left her son in a vegetative state.
Loubna Khader told WFAA-TV she wanted a chance to speak to Stewart Richardson after he appeared on the news saying he was sorry and that he prayed for her son, Abdallah, every night.
On Wednesday she visited him at the Fort Worth jail. Over the protective glass, Khader held up a picture of her son at age two, before the accident. Abdallah is now six.
“Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Look at this face! Look at him!” she cried.
“I’m very sorry. I hope God blesses you very much,” Richardson said.
“I don’t want to hear you, I just want you to hear me today,” she said.
“You think I’m supposed to go home now and my son’s going to be okay because you said you’re sorry?” she shouted. “It’s been five years today! Five years! My son is dying every single day. Every single day he is suffering. He can’t see, he can’t talk, he can’t breathe, he can’t eat. He can’t do anything!”
Richardson hung his head.
“You said you have a picture of my son in your cell?” she asked. “Don’t touch it! Don’t touch it, he’s an angel and you’re a devil and you’re not supposed to touch an angel.”
“I’m never going to forgive you,” she said before she left. “Never gonna forgive you for what you did to my son.”
WFAA received criticism on Facebook for showing the footage, but Khader said she wanted the public to experience the suffering caused by drunk driving.
Richardson pleaded guilty to felony DWI. He also had several DWI arrested in other states before the 2009 accident.
Prosecutors are asking for tougher penalties on several pending charges against Richardson. They believe he appeared on the news in order to portray himself as reformed and more sympathetic.
A drunk father faces up to five years in prison after he allowed his 8-year-old son to drive him home from a bar.
Mikolaj Tomaszewski, 38, of Gielniow, Poland, had his son Juliusz drive because he was far past the legal limit.
Tomaszewski said his son has practiced driving before in a local supermarket parking lot.
Juliusz rode his bicycle to the bar and proceeded to drive home. The boy sailed through an intersection, getting T-boned by an oncoming vehicle. Tomaszewski’s car was sent careening into a third car.
Five people were taken to the hospital with cuts and bruises, including Tomaszewski and his son.
Tomaszewski was later charged with endangering the life of a minor and causing a traffic collision.
A woman has filed a lawsuit against the city of Anchorage after a police officer falsely arrested her on grounds of drunk driving.
The case dates back to November of 2011, when Nancy Means, then 18, and three high school friends had gone out shopping late on Black Friday.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, Officer David Burns saw a disabled snow-covered minivan with hazard lights flashing at 3:40 am, and pulled over to investigate the situation.
In his report, Burns said that he “smelled the slight odor of alcohol coming from her.” He asked Means for her license and registration, which she handed over.
He then asked her for her phone number, which Means refused to give him. As she described in her lawsuit, she saw the request as an “untoward sexual advance.” She refused to answer any further questions without her lawyer.
The lawsuit continues on to describe the officer’s request for Means’ number as a “departure from routine procedure for an officer contacting a stranded and disabled vehicle.”
Burns then arrested Means on the ground of driving under the influence, escorted her to a police car, and impounded the van, which belonged to her father.
When Officer Thomas Gaulke tested Means’ breath at the police station less than an hour later, he noted that he neither smelled any alcohol on the young woman, nor did he see any signs that she was intoxicated.
Her blood alcohol level was .000.
Means was released, and city prosecutors decided not to prosecute the case several weeks later, on December 21.
On the day the case closed, Means’ father, Norman Means, argued that Burns had no probable cause to seize his vehicle; the hearing officer agreed, noting that “there were no reports of seeing Ms. Means driving in a manner that would suggest she was driving under the influence.”
However, as noted by KTUU, Means’ arrest for an unspecified misdemeanor charge is still on court records, which means that it is also still publically accessible on the internet. Her lawyer has submitted a letter to the city requesting that Means’ criminal charge be sealed.
Municipal Attorney Dennis Wheeler has said that he stands behind Burns, and that the city is prepared to mount a “vigorous defense” if sued.
Now, what remains central to the debate between the two opposing parties is, quite simply, what crime it is that Means committed that night in 2011.
Photo Source: newsday.com
Pinecrest police officer Ana Carrasco has been accused of failing to render aid at the scene of a deadly accident as the first on-duty responder.
A drunk driver struck two University of Miami graduate students, Ying Chen and Hao Liu, the evening of Oct. 16, 2013.
Officer Carrasco arrived on the scene after off-duty Miami Police Sgt. Javier Ortiz.
"I jumped out of my car, I have a defibrillator, and checked the vitals on both victims," said Ortiz.
"I immediately started CPR on the female. It was just me. I had no one to work on the male and I was waiting for help to arrive," said Ortiz.
When Officer Carrasco arrived on the scene, Ortiz told her the male victim was not breathing and that she needed to turn him over and start CPR, reports CBS Miami.
Officer Carrasco did nothing.
"I got no response. She just stood there," said Ortiz. "I said it again and again and again ... There were people, civilians, yelling at her to please do something and she did absolutely nothing."
The dash camera on Carrasco's vehicle showed her standing with her hands in her pockets watching Ortiz help the female student. It also showed how Ortiz was covered in blood.
Multiple witnesses claim in recorded statements Officer Carrasco did not help the victims.
"She walked slowly and he started yelling at her," Samantha Evers said. "She didn't kneel, she didn't do anything. She just looked and walked away."
Carrasco has been questioned as part of an Internal Affairs investigation. She said she gave Ortiz a pair of gloves when he asked for them, told bystanders to back away from the scene, and tried to locate the vehicle that hit the victims, which was stopped a short distance away.
"I actually made a visual assessment on the male facing down. I didn't see him breathing, I didn't see his lungs or chest expanding or any signs of life," said Carrasco. "Based on my training, education, experience I was concerned flipping the male victim over. I was
concerned it could cause cervical or spinal injury and maybe kill him. I don't know if he's dead or not. I run back to my car to see if I have more gloves to see if I can search for any vital signs at that time rescue arrived."
Carrasco did not have another pair of gloves and thus did not check for vital signs of the injured male.
In January, Pinecrest police investigators determined she failed to help the fatally injured and suggested a one-week suspension without pay as her penalty, reports the Miami Herald.
Ortiz is outraged by the decision.
"I think that's pretty unheard of," Ortiz said. "I'm actually surprised that Pinecrest would be so lenient. In our department, you would be terminated for that."
A California drug addiction counselor was found guilty of second-degree murder and drunk driving yesterday. The woman, 52-year-old Sherri Wilkins, hit a pedestrian and drove with him lodged in her windshield for over two miles before a group of witnesses forced her to stop driving.
Wilkins blood alcohol content was double the legal limit when she struck and killed Phillip Moreno in November of 2012. She told the jury presiding over her case that she was “self-medicating” with alcohol on the night she decided to drink and drive. She admitted to drinking vodka, beer, and a tomato juice cocktail before getting behind the wheel of her car.
Moreno was walking home from his local bar when Wilkins struck him. The impact did not immediately kill him, but he died in the following moments as he remained stuck in Wilkins’ windshield.
“The way she treated Phillip Moreno struck at human dignity,” Deputy District Attorney John Harlan said after the verdict was announced. “This case has been about human dignity. We do not tolerate someone who does not pull over when they see someone on their windshield.”
The jury deliberated for three days before sentencing Wilkins to a minimum of 45 years in prison. The lengthy sentence is due to California’s three strike policy. The second-degree murder charge is her third felony conviction. Prior to cleaning her life up, Wilkins was a heroin addict for years. During her years as an addict, she was twice found guilty on felony burglary charges.
The case, as one of Wilkins’ neighbors notes, is heartbreaking for both sides. Not only was an innocent Moreno killed, but Wilkins’ actions show that a dark past she thought she’d once left behind caught up with her. After decades of heroin addiction, Wilkins got clean, returned to school, and earned a degree in drug addiction counseling. Many of the people she counseled credit her with turning their lives around.
"We've gotten some calls from people saying, 'She really saved my life,'" said Tami Jimenez, a co-worker of Wilkins. "Everybody loved Sherri, the employees, the patients, just everybody loved her."
Police Release Dashcam Footage After North Carolina Mayor Daune Gardner Pleads Guilty to DUI (Video)
The mayor of Waxham, a small town in North Carolina that lies right near the South Carolina border, below Charlotte, is shown on newly released police dashboard camera footage laughing and dancing during a sobriety test back in June. Now, the disgraced mayor has pleaded guilty to drunk driving, and this isn’t her first offense.
Police say that when they pulled over Mayor Daune Gardner in June, her blood alcohol level was 0.18 percent. She will not, however, face any jail time for her crime. She’s pleaded guilty to level 5 DUI and has been placed on one year of probation, stripped of her driving privileges, and given 24 hours of community service.
Police say that on the night of the incident back in June, it was 12:30 in the morning and Mayor Gardner was speeding, driving, erratically, smelled of alcohol, and was slurring her words.
"She has become a liability to the town of Waxhaw in my opinion and we can't tolerate it anymore," said Waxhaw Commissioner Joyce Blythe. “This has happened before, and she was warned before, and she hasn’t heeded those warnings.”
Last month, town commissioners voted to make Gardner pay back the money that she spent on alcohol after deeming that what she initially used was from the taxpayers. She is not allowed to go out of town until all of the money is repaid.