OWI Task Force: Drunk Driver Tries to Set Fire at Police Station

Claiming high-ranking connections but unable to get a ride home, Milwaukee man attempts to burn the mattress in his holding cell.

The reports are in on a drunken driving task force sweep last weekend, and a couple of them are doozies.

A 25-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested first for drunken driving and then for arson last Sunday after he tried to set a fire in his holding cell at the Wauwatosa police station.

Twice, officers left him with a lighter in his pocket, once inadvertantly, and they paid the price later when he tried to ignite the mattress in his cell.

As you might expect, police holding cells are equipped with flame-retardant “Flame Check” bedding, and the man never came close to starting a blaze.

Nevertheless, the department did forward the case to the District Attorney's office with a request for an arson charge, but after review the DA reduced that to misdemeanor criminal damage to property.

The misadventure began at 2:24 a.m. when a patrol officer saw the Milwaukee man make an illegal left turn from North 70th Street onto Blue Mound Road. He was pulled over a couple of blocks away after he turned south onto North 68th Street.

The officer detected a strong odor of alcohol and noted that the driver's speech was slurred. He was asked to submit to a field sobriety test and agreed, but performed poorly. He willingly gave a breath test, registered a .118, and was told he was under arrest.

Up to that point he had been cooperative, but when he was searched, he became glib and petulant. When the officer found a lighter and a business card in his pocket, he said, “Ooo, a business card, how dangerous is that? I hope you didn’t get a paper cut.”

The two items were returned to his pocket.

He then said he didn’t know who a passenger in his car was, although it turned out to be his roommate, and he refused to let officers move his car onto a side street. On the way to the station he began to belittle the officer driving, questioned his manhood, and threatened to urinate on the officer’s jacket in the back seat.

At the station, an officer said to him, “If you could have a seat on the blue chair,” and got an argument. The officer said, “Have a seat on the blue chair,” to which he replied, “You’re missing a word. P, p, p, p….”

At the hospital, he sexually demeaned nurses and refused to give a blood sample. Ultimately, four police officers were involved in getting a sample from him.

Taken back to the , 1700 N. 116th St., he continued to deride the sexual prowess of each and every officer he encountered.

Despite a claim of connecections to powerful people, he was unable to get a ride home, and so was put on a 12-hour hold. After calling out for an officer when none was present, he was seen at 5:05 a.m. by dispatchers monitoring the cells on camera to take out a lighter and repeatedly try to set his mattress on fire.

The officer who had booked him wrote that he had later failed to detect and remove the lighter from the suspect’s pocket as procedures warranted.

Another officer wrote that even after being handcuffed and removed from the cell, the man continued to berate and belittle officers, saying he would sue them all and telling them he was “going to have your badges” because, he claimed, his aunt is a high-ranking state elected official.

A prescription is not an excuse

At 9:04 p.m. last Sunday, a 33-year-old West Allis man was arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of narcotics, first offense, after he caused an accident at the intersection of West Wisconsin and Glenview avenues, slightly injuring a passenger in the other car.

He had executed a sudden U-turn on Wisconsin Avenue and then rear-ended the car in front of him, which was stopped at the corner traffic signal.

The man said he had not been drinking and did not smell of alcohol, but his eyes were bloodshot, his pupils were constricted, and his hands were shaking. He admitted he had taken four different prescription medications and had been warned not to drive until their effects had stabilized. He performed poorly on a field sobriety test and was arrested and taken for a mandatory blood draw.

They must have been big shots

At 3:57 a.m., a 25-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for drunken driving, first offense, after he cracked up his car in the 4100 block of North Mayfair Road.

He admitted he had been drinking a little – two shots of tequila, he said – but he failed even to complete a field sobriety test.

He blew a .24 BAC – three times the proscribed limit to drive in Wisconsin.

Finally, someone who just admits it

At 8:12 p.m. Saturday, May 12, a 52-year-old Brookfield woman was arrested for drunken driving after an employee of Suburpia, 10853 Blue Mound Road, flagged down an officer and told him that a woman who appeared to be intoxicated was just getting into her car.

He attempted to block her by standing behind her car, but she backed into him and left the lot. Police pulled her over a short distance away.

She at first said she had drunk three beers, but after a little reflection, she said, “I’m drunk. I am.”

She agreed to take a field sobriety test but then interrupted it, saying, “Why are we doing this? I’m not going to lie. I’ve been drinking!”

The officer began to explain that the purpose of the test was to determine whether she was OK to drive, and she replied, “I’m not! I’m not!”

Asked if she wanted to complete the tests, she said, “No, I’m not good to drive,” and they were halted.

She blew a .21 BAC. A bit later, when asked whether she felt she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, she said, “I’m under the influence of you guys right now.”

Tosa_L May 21, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Jim Price even writes the crime blotter well. As a side note, my new band name is definitely going to be "Glib and Petulant."
Jim Price May 21, 2012 at 04:34 PM
I will definitely come see you if I can sit in on guitar.
Deb Strzelecki May 21, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Sorry. A lighter being overlooked on a search? Fail.


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