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Over the Fence and Through the Ditch; DUI Driver's Not-So-Secret Crash

There was a major, single-car crash last week and the driver didn't want to report it to police. Once the tow truck driver arrived, though, police were called.

Officer Kevin O’Neill responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash near the Department of Transportation parking lot just south of the intersection of I-35 and 185th Street one day this week. Dispatch advised that a tow company had called to report the crash. They reported that they had been called to tow the car, but it had obviously been in a significant traffic crash and the driver did not want to report it to the police. 

When Officer O’Neill arrived on the scene, he interviewed the driver of the car and found that the vehicle had been involved in a one-car crash when he drove off the roadway and struck a fence. In looking at the crash scene, it was apparent that after striking the fence, the car continued across a deep ditch and ended up in the DOT parking lot. The car had sustained significant damage, but the driver reported that he was uninjured in the crash. The driver told the officers that he lost control of his vehicle and had gone off the roadway, struck a curb and then struck the fence. 

While speaking with the driver, the officers detected signs that the driver might be under the influence of alcohol. Officer Anna Limbeck, who was assisting Officer O’Neill on the call, administered a series of standardized field sobriety tests. The driver failed the field sobriety tests and was arrested. The driver subsequently tested over the legal limit and was charged with multiple traffic offenses, including DUI. 

Just last week in Breezes, in talking about the dangers of impaired driving to the motoring public, I mentioned that roadside surveys have found that the incidence of impaired driving at any particular time is estimated to be 3% of all drivers. This call came in at 8:59 a.m. 

COMMUNITY SERVICE OFFICER ASSISTS ON CALL 

Community Servicer Officers (CSOs) are non-sworn staff that assist our police officers in all aspects of providing public safety services. Usually, CSOs will assist the patrol officers with a wide range of non-emergency duties ranging from directing traffic to picking up stray dogs. The Community Service Officers provide an important link in our ability to provide a complete range of public safety services to our citizens. 

The CSOs also will occasionally play a critical role in a case as happened last week on a missing person call. Officers Rick Hakanson and Jason Jensen were on a call of a lost child, who had left a medical clinic. Several officers were searching the immediate area without success, when the missing child was located nearby by CSO Nicole Martin, who was also assisting on the call. The child was reunited with her parents. 

CREDIT CARD FRAUD TO PURCHASE FOOTWEAR 

Credit card fraud cases are challenging and difficult to investigate for a number of reasons but also because often times the victim does not know how or when their information was accessed and stolen. Officer Brad Wubben was working on a credit card fraud case recently in which the victim only became aware of a fraud when a purchase of almost $7,000 in footwear was made on a credit card taken out in their name at an out-of-state retail outlet. The victim had no idea how or when their information was stolen. The case was forwarded to Detective Russ Helmueller to coordinate his investigation with the out-of-state police agency where the purchase was made. 

WEEKLY LPD SNAPSHOT

Sampling of LPD activity for the week of Sept. 20 to Sept. 27, 2012 

Traffic crashes: 11 Alarms: 26 Animal Calls: 30 Medical Emergency Calls: 17 Thefts: 16 Traffic Stops: 239

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