Council candidate charged with DUI after car goes in ditch

A county council candidate was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after she drove into a ditch on Jersey Road on March 20, according to the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office.

Julie D. Brewington, 51, of Salisbury, told a responding deputy that she drove off the road when she received a phone call, the sheriff’s office said.

Brewington is a Republican candidate for an at-large seat on the Wicomico County Council in the upcoming Primary Election.

The single-vehicle crash took place just before 8:30 p.m. on Jersey Road near Adkins Road in Salisbury. An investigation showed that after leaving the roadway, the operator appeared to drive approximately 75 yards in the ditch parallel to the road, according to the sheriff’s office.

The deputy met with Brewington, the operator of the vehicle, and detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage, the sheriff’s office said. Brewington was slurring her words, appeared confused and was uncooperative, according to the sheriff’s office.

Brewington refused to sign paperwork related to the DUI arrest, the sheriff’s office said. The deputy transported Brewington to the Central Booking Unit where she was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. Following an initial appearance, the commissioner released Brewington on personal recognizance.

In addition to the DUI charge, she also was charged with using a handheld telephone while her vehicle was in motion, failure to control speed to avoid a collision, negligent driving and driving while impaired by alcohol.

http://ux.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/maryland/2018/03/21/wicomico-council-candidate-charged-dui-after-car-goes-ditch/445904002/

Courtroom erupts after man found guilty in fatal crash

GOSHEN – Minutes after an Orange County jury convicted Gregory Cardona of criminally negligent homicide and reckless driving in the crash death of girlfriend Ashley Martinez, months of tensions and resentment between the two families exploded into shouts and name-calling.

The fracas started Wednesday morning just after deputies led Cardona out of court to the inmate holding area, when Assistant District Attorney Matthew Healy stepped toward the rail to speak to Martinez’s family, who filled one side of the gallery.

From the crowd across the courtroom, Cardona’s stepfather muttered an insult at Healy, which set off a woman in Martinez’s family.

“We lost Ashley!” she shouted, adding an insult. “She’s dead! She’s dead!” the woman wailed.

Several court officers stationed in the courtroom for the verdict quickly stepped between the families, keeping them separated despite attempts by a few people to get at the other side.

An Orange County Court jury found Cardona, 28, guilty of criminally negligent homicide, a felony, and reckless driving, a misdemeanor, in the Aug. 30, 2016 crash that killed 25-year-old Martinez. The jury acquitted Cardona on the top count, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, and a misdemeanor count of driving while ability impaired by drugs, a decision that seemed to stun both families.

The verdict suggests that jurors did not find proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Cardona was impaired by marijuana. Healy and Senior Assistant District Attorney Lorri Goldberg argued at trial that Cardona was high and driving recklessly at the time of the crash.

Cardona, 28, of New Windsor, faces up to two to four years in prison on the criminally negligent homicide charge. That time could run consecutively to the aggregate four to 12 years in prison Cardona is serving for violating probation on previous grand larceny and forgery charges.

The courtroom was silent as Judge Robert Freehill took the verdict, as the jury was polled and as the jury exited.

Goldberg asked the judge to order Cardona held without bail, and to return him to prison to await sentencing.

Cardona’s lawyer, Jaime Santana, asked that Cardona be kept at Orange County Jail.

“Mr. Cardona is remanded, and he will be returning to state prison,” Freehill ruled, and deputies led Cardona out of the courtroom.

Freehill called a recess, and no one in the gallery stood.

After a few moments of silence, the fracas began.

As the court officers worked to hold back and calm people, the woman continued screaming in grief and anger, tears falling. Shouting continued from a couple of people on each side. At one point, as the court security held back family members, Cardona’s stepfather stepped on a bench to reach over an officer. The officers, and it appeared other relatives, quickly got him down.

A few minutes later, court officers ushered Martinez’s family out of the courtroom.

Cardona’s family remained in the courtroom until court officers got the clear sign that Martinez’s family had left the premises, a procedure court security staff has used since the start of the case because of the simmering tensions.

Cardona will be sentenced June 5.

http://www.recordonline.com/news/20180321/courtroom-erupts-after-man-found-guilty-in-fatal-crash

Impaired Driver Mistakes Jail Booth For Drive-Thru, Orders Breakfast

A Long Island woman’s quest for breakfast ended in a jail cell after police say she drove up to a jail security booth and mistook it for a fast food drive-thru window.

Lizabeth Ildefonso, of Jamesport, N.Y., was arrested on March 16 after she drove up to the Suffolk County jail and tried to order a “bacon, egg, and cheese.” According to the Riverhead News-Review, the 44-year-old was told by Suffolk County deputies that she was really at a jail but kept demanding breakfast. Ildefonso “insisted that she really wanted a sandwich,” the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Officers at the jail noticed that Ildefonso’s eyes were glassy and she had a white powder in her left nose before performing a sobriety check. After “performing poorly” in a field sobriety test, the woman was arrested for driving while impaired by drugs. Police also noted that the 44-year-old was driving without a valid license.

The Sheriff’s office says Deputy Sheriff Yvonne DeCaro, who arrested Ildefonso, had just completed a course to help identify impaired drivers.

“It apparently was put to good use today although the surrounding circumstances were a little unexpected,” the Sheriff’s office added.

Impaired Driver Mistakes Jail Booth For Drive-Thru, Orders Breakfast

Deputies arrest man they say rammed deputy’s vehicle with stolen pickup

 

YAKIMA, Wash. — A 29-year-old Yakima man awaiting trial on possessing a stolen motor vehicle and domestic violence charges is accused of ramming a sheriff’s deputy’s patrol vehicle with a stolen pickup early Tuesday morning.

Bail was set Tuesday at $100,000 in Yakima County Superior Court for the suspect. At the time of his arrest, he had been released from jail as part of the court’s pretrial release program, which required him to check in regularly with court staff.

In the latest incident, a deputy had stopped a Chevrolet pickup for a minor traffic violation near Branch and South Wapato roads about 12:10 a.m., according to court documents. When the deputy learned the truck had been reported stolen in Yakima, he tried to get the driver to step out of the vehicle, but the suspect instead drove off, a probable-cause affidavit said.

Deputies and Washington State Patrol, Wapato and Yakama Nation Tribal police officers joined the pursuit, the affidavit said, with speeds reaching 70 mph. The truck stopped on Progressive Road, and the driver then rammed the back of the truck into a deputy’s vehicle, court records said.

The truck became high-centered on the deputy’s hood, as the suspect continued to gun the engine, the affidavit said.

Authorities said the suspect tried to bite deputies as they took him into custody. One of the deputies used a Taser stun gun twice to subdue the suspect, the affidavit said.

The deputy’s vehicle was rendered inoperable, but no deputies had any injuries requiring medical care, according to the sheriff’s office.

The suspect is being held on suspicion of first- and third-degree assault, eluding police, possessing a stolen vehicle, resisting arrest, driving under the influence of intoxicants and third-degree driving with a suspended license.

https://www.yakimaherald.com/news/crime_and_courts/yakima-county-deputies-arrest-man-they-say-rammed-deputy-s/article_77db9268-26c4-11e8-a46e-7f7a090796d5.html

Hit-and-run driver pinned dad between cars in parking lot

Mohammed Fawad Mohammadi, 27, told the Portland Tribune that he was visiting Oregon’s coastline with his wife and infant son on March 6 when got involved in a minor car accident in a Walgreens parking lot in Lincoln City.

After Mohammadi and his wife got out of their car, police said the other driver, identified as Perry Nicolopoulous, 68, put his car in reverse and backed up toward the couple for a second time while their young son was still inside their vehicle. Mohammadi said he pushed his wife away but was pinned between the two vehicles.

Police said Nicolopoulous then drove toward Mohammadi again, striking his car a third time as he managed to roll away.

“I called to my wife to grab the baby and run,” he told the Portland Tribune. “She acted quickly, but our car was rammed three times with the baby inside. I’m so lucky they’re both OK.”

Mohammadi was flown by helicopter to a trauma center in Portland, where he underwent surgery to repair his leg, which was severely crushed, according to a GoFundMe campaign created by a coworker to help offset his lofty medical expenses.

“Currently it appears that he is suffering from the crushed leg, broken hips, fractured spine and numerous facial injuries,” according to the website, which garnered more than $33,000 in donations as of Wednesday. “At this writing he is undergoing a second surgery to save the leg. The doctors have prepared him for the high likelihood that the surgery will not be successful.”

Peter Sollom, director of the Palisades Market grocery store in Lake Oswego, where Mohammadi works, said Mohammadi immigrated to the United States nearly three years ago from his native Afghanistan, where he worked as an interpreter for the US military for four years. He was also known to customers and colleagues as the “soup king” due to his affinity for tinkering with some of the recipes at the grocery store.

Stephanie Ballard Agramonte, who started the GoFundMe page, said many staffers at the location were angry when they learned of the hit-and-run accident.

“The evening we got the details on what happened, so many people had the same reaction: ‘People are horrible. Can you believe what people will do?’” Agramonte told the Portland Tribune.

Investigators believe the crash was an “intentional act,” Jason Palmer, a spokesperson for the Lincoln City Police Department, told The Oregonian on Tuesday.

Nicolopoulos was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants. He was later additionally charged with attempted murder and assault. He remains in custody at the Lincoln County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail. He’s scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Thursday, The Oregonian reports.

Palmer said there’s no indication thus far that the deliberate attack constituted a hate crime, although investigators had not yet determined a motive.

“It appears that the victim was random,” Palmer said. “We find no connection between these two individuals.”

Mohammadi, meanwhile, expects to be hospitalized for another month, and full recovery might come within six months, he said. For now, he’s enjoying well-wishes from strangers and the love of his wife and young son.

“I feel so great when I saw all of my friends coming in, people coming to say hi and to relax with me,” he told the Portland Tribune. “Even people I don’t know, seeing them say nice things about me on Facebook. They wrote things wishing me health. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.”

https://nypost.com/2018/03/14/hit-and-run-driver-pinned-dad-between-cars-in-parking-lot-cops/

Woman had drugs in system in fatal Interstate crash

Amanda Runtz

Group trying to figure out role of pot in impaired-driving accidents

Group trying to figure out role of pot in impaired-driving accidents

A panel of experts from the cannabis, public safety and transportation industries gathered at Colorado State University-Pueblo Thursday to discuss misconceptions and discuss the dangers of cannabis-impaired driving.

The discussion was the first public happening of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s new public safety campaign called The Cannabis Conversation, which is seeking the input of Coloradans to identify solutions to a problem that contributed to 77 fatal car wrecks in 2016 alone.

According to CDOT Communications Manager Sam Cole, the department previously orchestrated ad campaigns to get the word out about cannabis-impaired driving, which he said were successful in notifying the public of the dangers and legal repercussions of driving under the influence of marijuana but seemingly did little to curb citizens’ behavior.

 So instead of another ad campaign to speak to cannabis users, CDOT decided to host The Cannabis Conversation in order to facilitate a conversation in which Coloradans could weigh in.

Some of the primary topics discussed at the meeting included how marijuana consumption effects drivers, current law enforcement methods for detecting drugged driving, and ongoing research into tools that measure impairment.

All of the panelists agreed that marijuana consumption can cause impairment that makes it dangerous to operate a motor vehicle, but noted that because marijuana has not been researched as extensively as other impairment-causing drugs, such as alcohol, it is unclear to what extent.

The lack of research is attributable to the relatively new status of legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado, and panelist Kristi Kelly, the executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, said a number of research studies on marijuana impairment are being conducted in the Centennial State.

Cole expressed that though research has not yet identified the extent to which marijuana causes driving impairment, studies have shown that being under the influence of marijuana does impact perceptions of distance, speed and time.

“We would all agree that at a certain level, yes, marijuana does impair your ability to drive,” Cole said.

“I think where everything gets squishy is in the research addressing at what level. Does somebody have to smoke a whole joint? Eat a whole edible? Or would they be fine just having a hit or two off a joint and they can still drive?

“Science just really hasn’t met us there, so we’re still having this discussion, both in the scientific and research community. Meanwhile, CDOT is really digging deep into this data to understand a lot more about these crashes that involved somebody who was high.”

A variety of factors play into how impaired each individual driver may be after consuming marijuana, including the amount consumed, time elapsed since consumption and the individual’s tolerance.

Because marijuana can be detected in a person’s blood long after they’ve consumed it, panelist Jack Reed, a statistical analyst for the Colorado Department of Public Safety, detailed that the state enforces existing driving laws by first identifying impairment through behavioral cues and later testing for a specific type of THC called Delta-9.

Colorado law dictates a person cannot legally drive if any more than 5 nanograms of Delta-9 THC is detected in his or her blood and Reed said Delta-9 is different from other types of THC in that it is usually only detectable in significant quantities when marijuana has been consumed within a short time of being tested, typically around two hours.

While research surrounding marijuana impairment and its effect on a citizen’s ability to drive continues to progress, panelist Matt Herrera, manager at the Pueblo Starbuds Dispensary, said he advises his customers to simply treat marijuana consumption the same way they do other impairment-causing drugs.

“There’s a misconception when it comes to alcohol and marijuana that a lot of people think marijuana is way less of a problem and it’s not,” he said.

“Even if the number is one marijuana-impaired driving fatality, that is one too many,” Kelly said.

“So compared to alcohol for example, the numbers are significantly lower than alcohol. But in our opinion, one is still too many. So our goal, and why we work with CDOT … is because we are fully committed to educating folks on the road so that they can make the right choices beforehand.”

http://www.montrosepress.com/national/news/group-trying-to-figure-out-role-of-pot-in-impaired/article_c49ff135-2611-5073-a984-9d71c701b697.html

Man hospitalized after crashing into school bus, bicyclist, tree

Driver suspected of driving under the influence, police say

  • A man was hospitalized with serious injuries after his car collided with a bus, bicyclist and tree in short succession on Bollinger Road in West San Jose on March 12, 2018. The driver is suspected of driving under the influence. (Courtesy of Don Draper)

A San Jose man suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol was rushed to a hospital Monday morning with life-threatening injuries after being involved in a crash with a school bus and bicyclist, according to San Jose police.

The driver, who was not immediately arrested because of the severity of his injuries, was listed in critical but stable condition Tuesday, according to San Jose police Sgt. Enrique Garcia.

San Jose police said they responded to a hit-and-run crash at 7:11 a.m. on Bollinger Road at Lawrence Expressway. A San Jose man, who has not been identified, was driving a red Acura westbound on Bollinger when he collided with a school bus also traveling on Bollinger, east of Lawrence Expressway.

The driver of the Acura continued westbound on Bollinger and hit a bicyclist, according to police.  The driver did not stop and continued on Bollinger, past the intersection at Lawrence Expressway, and crashed into a tree.

The driver of the Acura was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to police.

San Jose man hospitalized after crashing into school bus, bicyclist, tree

Coroner resigns after he was arrested for DUI at scene

Three people were injured and a 19-year-old Las Animas woman was killed

Around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, 16-year-old Cutter Nicholas of Las Animas was driving a 1996 Ford pickup truck with three friends in the vehicle, according to a news release from the Colorado State Patrol. None of the people in the truck were wearing seatbelts when the male driver lost control of the truck while driving north on Bent County Road 12 just north of County Road JJ.

The truck began to rotate and heading off the left side of the roadway, the release said. The truck hit an embankment and rolled onto the roof. A juvenile was ejected from the car but survived with moderate injuries. The driver and remaining passenger were transported to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Danielle Gonzales, 19, of Las Animas, was killed in the crash.

When the coroner arrived on the scene, troopers began to suspect that he was drunk, Colorado State Patrol spokesman Trooper Joshua Lewis said Monday.

Roberts was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Lewis said Roberts would have been given a breathalyzer test but said he didn’t have the results. KRDO reported that Roberts blood-alcohol level was 0.087, higher than the 0.08 at which a person is considered to be driving under the influence in Colorado.

Bent County coroner resigns after he was arrested for DUI at the scene of a fatal car crash

Michigan football staffer was barefoot, bit lab tech after drunk driving arrest

Fergus Connolly, 40, also told an officer he would “put him in a wheelchair,” according to the police report.

Connolly has not been formally charged in the incident. Police say they are waiting for laboratory results, which could take several weeks.

An Ann Arbor police report obtained through the Freedom of Information Act details the allegations against Connolly: that he crashed an SUV – one that may have been a university vehicle – while drunk driving, was combative, shouted profanities, refused a preliminary breath test and denied he was drunk.

Michigan football staffer suspected of drunken driving

Connolly’s Ann Arbor-based attorney, Joseph Simon, in an email on Wednesday, March 14, declined to comment on the police report before formal charges are filed.

Connolly joined Michigan’s athletic department in 2016 and has spent the last two seasons as the football team’s director of performance. He added director of Michigan’s football operations to his job responsibilities prior to the 2017 season.

There had been no change to Connolly’s job status with the university as of Tuesday evening, Michigan football spokesman Dave Ablauf said. Ablauf has not seen the police report and would not comment on the allegations to The Ann Arbor News.

Connolly was found shoeless – his feet bloody – and incoherent at Second and Madison streets shortly after a reported hit-and-run crash at First and Mosley streets on the city’s West Side about 11:50 a.m. March 5, according to the police report.

A witness to the crash – which forced a parked Ford vehicle into a driveway – said the driver of the Chevrolet Tahoe involved “looked so angry” before driving away, according to the police report.

Shortly after, police found Connolly standing barefoot in a snow bank, according to the report. He was not dressed appropriately for the cold day and was leaning against a tree speaking on his cellphone, the report said.

Officers on scene noted his speech was slurred and he didn’t have a wallet or identification, according to the police report. Police had to look him up on the internet to confirm his identity.

Connolly had injuries to an arm, his stomach, and his feet, and Ann Arbor police Officer Garrett Marshall said in his report that Connolly was unaware of where he’d come from.

“He was disorientated and smelled of intoxicants,” according to Officer Stephanie Kjos-Warner’s report. “His eyes were glassed over, as he stared at (the responding officer) and handed his cell phone to her.”

Connolly had been speaking by phone to a University of Michigan police officer named “Goshi,” who told Kjos-Warner he’d been encouraging Connolly to turn himself in, police said.

Teresa Oesterle, deputy director for the Michigan Division of Public Safety & Security, said in an email that the department has an Officer Goci – identified as Milot Goci in UM records – but did not immediately have information on an exchange with Connolly.

Connolly’s Tahoe was found damaged and missing its front tire near Armen Cleaners on nearby Ashley Street. A witness there told police she and her father-in-law saw a shoeless white man with no coat get out of the driver’s seat.

He responded, “I did it, myself!” when asked what happened, the witness said.

A University of Michigan vehicle ownership card was found in the Tahoe, though the license plate on the vehicle did not match that on the card.

Connolly was verbally abusive toward officers and repeatedly told them, “Do not do this to me,” and “F**k off”, according to the report.

He also resisted police during arrest and at the station, where he repeatedly fell from a bench, police said. He was restrained to a chair after taking “an open hand swing,” striking an officer on the arm, Marshall said in his report.

Connolly was later taken to the University of Michigan emergency room for injuries to his feet and his apparent intoxication, according to the report.

There, he assured police he would remain calm before trying to get out of the hospital bed and swinging at Marshall, according to the report.

He was then handcuffed to the bed, but sat up and grabbed a security officer “by the throat,” according to the report.

Portions of the altercation with police are redacted from the report, but it states hospital security personnel used four-point restraints to subdue Connolly. While in the restraint, Connolly bit a UM emergency technician on the arm, grazing her skin with his teeth, the report said. The technician said the bite was not hard and didn’t break the skin.

Neither the security officer nor the technician reported injuries, and Connolly was eventually sedated.

“Throughout the entire contact with Connolly he refused to give his name, any statement about where he was prior to us finding him and if he had been drinking and driving,” Marshall stated in his report.

Connolly was eventually released to the hospital, said Ann Arbor police Lt. Matthew Lige.

Laboratory results could take several weeks, but police intend to seek misdeamenor charges against Connolly, Lige said.

Connolly is the second football staff member under head coach Jim Harbaugh to be arrested on suspected drunken driving after Jim Minick, Michigan’s then associate athletic director for football, in 2015.

Before Michigan, Connolly spent two seasons, 2014-16, as director of elite performance for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, including one season under Harbaugh. He’s also done consultant work for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns, the NBA’s New York Knicks, the English Premier League and Australian professional rugby teams.

Harbaugh wrote the forward for “Game Changer: The Art of Sports Science,” a book Connolly released in 2017 that pitches the idea evidence-based analysis and athlete-focused training are the path to success in sport, not necessarily big budgets or a heavy emphasis on advanced statistics.

Connolly made $255,000 in 2017, according to UM’s annual salary report.

http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2018/03/michigan_football_staffer_accu_1.html