Doing ‘doughnuts,’ crashing into snowbank leads to DUI

St. Charles man charged with felony resisting arrest

Carlos Romero-Alfaro was charged with felony resisting arrest

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A St. Charles man was charged with driving under the influence Jan. 23 after a Kane County deputy watched him doing “doughnuts” in the parking lot at the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, then crash into a snowbank near the flag poles and stop sign area by the entrance of the sheriff’s office, according to Kane County Sheriff’s reports.

Carlos J. Romero-Alfaro, 28, of the 600 block of 11th Avenue, St. Charles, was also charged with felony resisting arrest by refusing to get out of his car, requiring two deputies and a state trooper to remove him from the car and carry him to a squad car, reports stated.

Romero-Alfaro was also charged with misdemeanor resisting a police officer, illegal transportation of alcohol, reckless driving and property damage.

At 11 p.m. that night, a deputy saw Romero-Alfaro’s car doing “doughnuts” – that is driving in circles in the snow – before he crashed into the snowbank and stop sign, reports stated.

When deputies approached Romero-Alfaro’s vehicle, a 2009 gray Subaru Legacy, they saw him holding a Milwaukee’s Best Ice beer can between his legs and an empty can he threw out the window, the report stated.

“I asked Carlos what he was doing and he appeared stupefied,” the report stated. “Carlos was slurring his speech and kept asking for a lighter to light his cigarette, even though I observed him holding a lighter in his right hand. Carlos could not answer why he was doing ‘doughnuts’ in the parking lot of the sheriff’s office and would consistently repeat, just say, ‘What?’”

Romero-Alfaro refused when he was asked to step out of his vehicle, and then he refused when police ordered him to step out, even after being told he was under arrest, the report stated. https://www.kcchronicle.com/2019/01/30/doing-doughnuts-crashing-into-snowbank-leads-to-dui/aqwubt5/

Driver who plunged off Coronado bridge, killing 4, testifies he was not drunk

A soft-spoken Richard Sepolio testified Tuesday that he was not driving under the influence of alcohol two years ago when he crashed his pickup off the San Diego-Coronado Bridge into Chicano Park, killing four people.

The 27-year-old Navy aviation technician is charged with 13 felony counts including four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI and reckless driving causing death or injury.

He faces more than 23 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

Cruz Contreras, 52, and his wife, Annamarie Contreras, 50, of Chandler, Ariz., were killed, as were Andre Banks, 49, and his wife, Francine Jimenez, 46, of Hacienda Heights.

They were part of a crowd of an estimated 3,000 people in the park for a rally at the end of the annual La Raza motorcycle run on Oct. 15, 2016.

Food and souvenir booths were set up in the park, and Sepolio’s truck landed on one booth.

One of the main issues at trial is whether he was under the influence after having drinks at brunch several hours before driving.

Also at issue is whether he was speeding while trying to pass a slower car and was in an irritated state of mind after talking to his girlfriend on his cellphone while driving.

A forensic expert testified that, calculating backward from one hospital blood test showing a .04 percent blood-alcohol level would indicate he had a .08 or .09 percent level while driving. Another test pointed to a .05 or .06 blood-alcohol level.

A driver in California is presumed under the influence at .08 percent, but could be considered impaired with a lower blood-alcohol level.

If jurors find Sepolio guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter without being intoxicated, his time in prison would be considerably less than 23 years.

Testimony in the trial, which so far has lasted nine days, trial ended Tuesday and lawyers are expected to give their closing arguments Wednesday in San Diego Superior Court.

Sepolio was the final defense witness, telling a jury of six men and six women that he had a glass of cider and a glass of wine at a noon brunch with a fellow aviation technician from North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado.

In planning the brunch, Sepolio said he’d texted his colleague that he wanted to get “white girl wasted” at the restaurant, Chocolate Eclipse in North Park.

They returned by Uber to his colleague’s South Park apartment and he spent about an hour hanging out with her and playing with her dogs, he said.

He phoned his girlfriend, who was in Missouri, and talked to her while driving to Coronado, with the phone in his truck console. Under questioning from his attorney, Paul Pfingst, he said they talked about her soccer match and how she wanted him to buy a pair of shorts that he considered to be too short.

“I don’t have the legs for them,” he told the court.

Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright asked him if he and his girlfriend, to whom he is now married, had an argument on the phone seconds before his crash.

She pointed to transcripts of the woman’s apologetic text messages to Sepolio’s phone, saying, “I’m sorry I’m such a bad girlfriend,” “I’ll change” and “please don’t hate me” — all suggesting some kind of dispute between them.

Sepolio said he had not read her texts at the time, 3:37 p.m., because he had plunged over the bridge by that time. He said they had hung up as he drove north on Interstate 5 to a transition lane onto the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

Sepolio said he sped up to pass a blue car on his left, so he could get out of the right lane that merged with other bridge traffic coming off southbound I-5.

“As I was about to pass, they sped up, so I sped up as well,” he testified. “I thought I had enough room to go left.”

California Highway Patrol accident reconstruction experts testified that Sepolio’s “black box” recorder in his 2005 GMC pickup showed he was going 81 mph seconds before the crash, and about 60 when the truck hit a guardrail barrier.

Sepolio said he didn’t remember his truck hitting the left bridge barrier before bouncing to the right.

“The next thing I remember was looking down at a group,” he said.

His truck landed on its wheels atop the four victims who died. Several others were injured. People in the crowd tipped the truck onto the passenger side so others could check on the crushed victims.

Some men hauled Sepolio out of his back truck cab window. A trauma doctor testified that Sepolio suffered a fracture spine, sternum and other broken bones as well as brain bleed.

California Highway Patrol officers gave him two breath tests in the hospital and his blood was drawn twice. The CHP mistakenly stored one blood sample in a shed for more than a year before it was tested, an officer testified. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/courts/sd-me-sepolio-bridge-park-crash-20190129-story.html

Derry woman charged with drunk driving, after troopers clock her going 117 in a 55 mph zone

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BOW — A Derry woman faces drunk driving and other charges, after state police say she was clocked on radar driving 117 mph in a 55 mph zone in Bow with a teenage friend early Saturday.

According to state police, New Hampshire State Trooper Anthony Pratt was monitoring weekend traffic along Interstate 93 in Bow around 3:30 a.m. Saturday when he reported seeing a vehicle traveling at an excessive rate of speed. According to state police, Pratt was able to clock the vehicle going 117 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Pratt stopped the vehicle and determined the driver, identified as Kelly Murphy, 20, of Derry, was driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to police, Murphy was arrested on charges of aggravated driving under the influence, underage DWI, reckless operation, and unlawful possession of alcohol.

According to state police a passenger in the vehicle, identified as Marissa Palazzo, 19, of Derry, was also arrested on charges of resisting arrest and unlawful possession of alcohol.

Both women were processed and released and are awaiting arraignment in the 6th Circuit Court in Concord. https://www.unionleader.com/news/crime/derry-woman-charged-with-drunk-driving-after-troopers-clock-her/article_0755883c-739a-5bde-b2d8-0d7a776ee16c.html?block_id=664688

Driver arrested for being under the influence of vanilla extract

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — Police said a driver was arrested for driving under the influence after drinking vanilla extract Wednesday evening.

Stefanie Warner-Grise, 50, of New Canaan, was booked for operating under the influence after police were called to the scene of a vehicle stopped in a New Canaan intersection. The 911 caller said that the driver’s eyes were closed.

Responding officers said Warner-Grise had an odor of vanilla on her breath, her speech was slurred, and she was unable to answer basic questions. Several bottles of vanilla extract were allegedly found inside the vehicle.

Police said Warner-Grise failed field sobriety tests and was taken into custody. She refused a blood alcohol content test.

She was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. https://cw39.com/2019/01/28/driver-arrested-for-being-under-the-influence-of-vanilla-extract/

Dayton man indicted for fleeing traffic stop, killing passenger in crash

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Dayton man was indicted Thursday on charges related to a crash that killed his passenger last July.

On July 14, 2018, around 1:40 a.m., troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol tried to pull over a Dodge Magnum for a traffic stop on Gettysburg Avenue.

The driver, 38-year-old Thurston Melson, initially pulled over but quickly drove off and turned onto Oakridge Drive.

He lost control of the car near the intersection of Geneva Road and struck an RTA pole. The force of the impact broke the vehicle in half.

35-year-old Ebony Radford, who was sitting in the front seat, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following the crash, Melson tested positive for both marijuana metabolite and alcohol.

He was indicted on the following charges:

  • Two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide
  • One count of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer
  • One count of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol
  • One count of operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana metabolite
  • One count of OVI

Melson will be arraigned on February 7, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. https://www.wdtn.com/news/local-news/dayton-man-indicted-for-fleeing-traffic-stop-killing-woman-in-crash/1723522278?apt_credirect=1