Notice filed against town in DWI arrest

William Downing, the Riverhead man who was initially arrested for driving while intoxicated after hitting a child, despite not being given a blood test, has filed a notice of claim against Riverhead Town, its police department, the Suffolk County Police Department, a number of unnamed individual police officers as well as unnamed officers who are responsible for disseminating information to the media.

The notice, which preserves the right to bring a lawsuit and was written by attorney Cory Morris of Dix Hills, says that Mr. Downing “sustained physical and emotional injuries in violation of claimant’s civil rights, including, but not limited to loss of freedom; loss of comfort; extreme mental stress, pain and suffering; scarring, psychological damages, damage to name and reputation, stigma, monetary damages, special damages/costs/fees, medical fees, costs, damages and related damages incurred by and on behalf of” the police.

It accuses the police of “recklessness, carelessness, gross negligence, negligence, intentional conduct, malicious conduct, violation of civil rights, and unlawful conduct.”

The notice does not specify what damages are being sought.

Mr. Downing, 77, hit a 5-year-old boy on a bicycle on Lewis Street and Doris Avenue at 6:41 p.m. Aug. 4.

He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, and police issued a press release describing the arrest.

Those charges were later dismissed by Riverhead Town Justice Lori Hulse on Aug. 20 at the recommendation of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Mr. Downing, who lives on Lewis Street, said he was going about 10 mph in his 2003 Cadillac Escalade when the bike was struck. He said he remained at the scene and called police, who wanted to know if he’d been drinking. He said he had had half a can of beer.

Mr. Downing’s attorney in town court, Daniel Rodgers of Southampton, had said that Mr. Downing was given a portable breath test at the scene that registered his blood alcohol content at .05, which is below the threshold for driving while intoxicated or the lesser charge of driving while ability impaired.

Mr. Rodgers said that the portable device is not considered as reliable at the breath test at police headquarters, which Mr. Downing was not given.

Mr. Downing was given a blood test, which takes weeks before results are available, and those results eventually showed that Mr. Downing was not intoxicated.

Mr. Downing was arrested at the scene based on the observations of the arresting officer, according to Mr. Rodgers.

The notice of claim says that police “knew and had reason to know that (Mr. Downing) did not drive while intoxicated” and that he was falsely arrested, maliciously prosecuted and defamed, slandered and libeled.

Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller could not be reached for comment.

Notice filed against town in DWI arrest of William Downing

DWI suspect crashes pickup into flagpole, lights at police station

story.lead_photo.captionThe Hot Springs Police Department posted this photo on Twitter on Friday.

A man suspected of driving while intoxicated was arrested after crashing his pickup at police headquarters in Hot Springs, authorities said.

The Hot Springs Police Department said on Twitter that an “intoxicated driver” drove into the station parking lot and then crashed into the agency’s flagpole and lights..

“We can’t make this stuff up,” the agency added.

Hot Springs Police Department spokesman Cpl. Joey Williams identified the driver as 57-year-old Craig Smith of Hot Springs. Williams said a preliminary intoxication test showed Smith had a blood-alcohol level of 0.30 percent, which is more than three times the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle.

Williams said he’s never seen a drunk driver crash into department property in his 18 years of policing.

“Thank God he didn’t hit anybody,” Williams said. “Better the flagpole and light than if he hit an innocent person driving around like that.”

Damage to the lighting system was estimated at $1,500, Williams said, and the flagpole would cost about $3,500 if it needs to be replaced.

Williams said Smith faces charges of DWI, careless driving, driving on a suspended license, driving without proof of insurance and failure to wear a seat belt.


Police say a DWI suspect crashed his car into a flagpole and lights at the Hot Springs police station.

Alleged student sex ‘lookout’ gets house arrest for DUI

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2018:10:12 02:02:31

Brian Hampel leaves court after being sentenced to house arrest on a driving under the influence charge Wednesday.

WILKES-BARRE — The former Wilkes-Barre Area School District teacher who was accused of covering up a fellow teacher’s student sex scandal was sentenced Wednesday to house arrest after pleading guilty in his fifth drunken driving case.

Brian D. Hampel, 48, of 25 Harris Pond Road, Sweet Valley, was arrested after police saw him run a stop sign in Harveys Lake early the morning of Feb. 4. Prosecutors say he blew a 0.246 percent on a field breath test — more than three times the legal limit for driving.

Court records show Hampel pleaded guilty in July to a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence in exchange for prosecutors dropping additional charges against him.

During the sentencing hearing, Senior Deputy Attorney General Bernard Anderson noted that a court-ordered evaluation determined Hampel has a “pathological drinking problem.”

Luzerne County Judge Hugh F. Mundy sentenced Hampel to six months in the Intermediate Punishment Program, which allows offenders to remain out of prison but under strict guidelines and conditions. Hampel will be required to serve the first 30 days on house arrest with electronic monitoring, pay a $1,000 fine and perform 15 hours of community service.

He will also lose his driver’s license for a year and be required to abstain from drugs and alcohol.

Hampel declined to comment as he left court.

The case represented Hampel’s fifth DUI case in Luzerne County, but for sentencing purposes it counted as his first because the other cases took place more than 10 years ago.

Court records indicate that in Hampel’s first case, stemming from an arrest in February 2002, he entered the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program. The other three cases, all stemming from arrests in 2004, ended with Hampel pleading guilty to driving under the influence charges, according to court records.

Hampel gained notoriety in January 2015 during the student-sex trial of former administrator Stephen Stahl, a fellow teacher who was convicted of having a sexual relationship with a minor at the school in 2004.

Prosecutors at Stahl’s trial claimed Hampel served as a “lookout” while Stahl had sex with the 16-year-old girl in a classroom during school hours. Hampel denied the accusations when he testified.

The Wilkes-Barre Area School Board fired Hampel in September 2016, a month before he was charged with corruption of minors for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a teenage student and providing kegs of beer for underage drinking parties.

But a county judge dismissed the case in May 2017 after defense attorney Al Flora Jr. argued the alleged victim — an unidentified girl — had never reported inappropriate contact and that the statute of limitations had already expired in any case.

Hampel in turn filed a federal malicious prosecution lawsuit alleging Luzerne County detectives arrested him without probable cause in an effort to “destroy his career and reputation.”

That lawsuit is still pending.

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Marijuana Use Suspected in Fatal Colorado Crash

The Colorado State Patrol says a woman killed in a single-vehicle rollover on Interstate 70 is suspected of being under the influence of marijuana at the time.

KMGH-TV reported that the crash occurred Monday afternoon near Genesee, west of Denver, and closed the eastbound lanes and one lane of the westbound lanes of the highway for several hours.

The patrol says the crash happened when the 21-year-old woman driving the car failed to negotiate a right curve, causing the vehicle to go off the left side of the roadway. The driver then over-corrected and the vehicle rolled.

Troopers say the victim was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. A second person in the car was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

Star Arrested for DUI

'90 Day Fiance' Star Angela Deem Arrested for DUI as She Claims to Be Single: See Her Mugshot

90 Day Fiancé star Angela Deem was arrested for DUI and several other charges as she claimed to be single, Us Weekly can confirm.

According to a booking report obtained by Us, Deem was taken into custody in Montgomery County, Georgia, on September 2. The 52-year-old was arrested on charges of driving under the influence – refusal, driving without license on person and speeding in excess of maximum limits.

Angela was pulled over for allegedly driving 60 miles per hour in an area with a 35 miles per hour speed limit. The police officer noticed an alcohol smell coming from the car, at which point the TLC personality allegedly claimed her backseat passenger was responsible. However, the authority was informed by a sergeant at another police department that the driver allegedly said she wouldn’t drive because she’d had several drinks. She was arrested after she failed a field sobriety test.

'90 Day Fiance' Star Angela Deem Arrested for DUI as She Claims Her Martial Status Is Single
Angela Deem Montgomery County Sheriff Office

The vehicle was turned over to the backseat passenger, the owner of the car, after he passed a sobriety test. Angela allegedly claimed she feared the officer, called him racist and noted that his brother once dated her daughter. The reality star was allegedly uncooperative following her arrest.

Angela also alleged on her booking report that she is single. The Georgia grandmother pursued a relationship with Michael Ilesanmi on season 2 of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days after she met him on Facebook and traveled to Nigeria to meet him.

Before starring on 90 Day Fiancé, Angela appeared on Maury twice. She accused her daughter, Scottie, in February 2015 of cheating on her boyfriend with a man whom she claimed was the father of Scottie’s child. She questioned her other grandchild’s paternity when the family made another visit to the show in November 2016.

90 Day Fiance’s Angela Deem Arrested for DUI as She Claims She’s Single