Repeat DUI Offender who struck State Trooper Gets 13 year sentence

This is a follow-up to a story from two years ago.  Two days after pleading guilty to felony DUI, Leslie Thurow did it again, this time seriously injuring an Illinois State Trooper who was conducting a traffic stop in I-294.

One thing that didn’t repeat was her sentence.  She got probation for the earlier offense. This time, she got 13 years.

From the Chicago Tribune (story by Ted Gregory):

A chronic drunken driver who struck and nearly killed an Illinois state trooper in 2014 on Interstate 294 was sentenced to 13 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to aggravated DUI and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries.

Leslie Thurow wept through much of the hourlong hearing at the Maywood courthouse. Guidelines requiring her to serve a specified percentage of her sentence mean the Mount Prospect woman likely will end up serving nine years in prison.

“My thing with this is I don’t want to see her hurt anybody else again,” Trooper Michael Cokins, 30, said of the sentence. “Hopefully nine years prevents her from killing someone else or herself. She obviously has no regard for human life.”

A crying Thurow, 61, said she was “truly sorry” for striking Cokins about 2:45 p.m. Sept. 6, 2014, when he had stopped a motorist on the northbound Tri-State shoulder near Elmhurst. The trooper broke his shoulder blade, vertebrae, arm, leg, ankle, ribs and knees, among other injuries. He was confined to a wheelchair for three months, then crutches for five more months.

“I didn’t do everything I should have done to help myself,” Thurow added. “I pray for you every day.”

Law enforcement records show that the 2014 incident was Thurow’s third drunken driving crash in nine months. Two days before striking Cokins, Thurow was released on probation for a May DUI arrest in Brookfield.

After striking Cokins, Thurow continued driving north on I-294, hitting a retaining wall. That failed to stop her. Two miles farther along the interstate, she struck an SUV with seven occupants, including a 3-year-old boy. The SUV flipped, but none of the injuries to those inside was critical.

Thurow’s car struck a median, spun 180 degrees and came to a rest facing south. Cokins was in critical condition, and prosecutors were told he was not expected to walk again.

Over the next 14 months, he underwent surgeries and grueling physical therapy. He has about 55 screws and nine metal plates in bones.

After several setbacks, Cokins returned to work in December 2015, assigned to investigations. In June, he returned to patrolling the same stretch of interstate where he was hit.

Trooper Cokins’ recovery is an amazing story.  Thurow’s prison sentence can’t get him back to where he was before this incident. But hopefully sharing this story will prevent future incidents like this from happening again.

 

If a police officer does this when arrested for DUI, shouldn’t you too?

An off-duty Hammond, Indiana police officer was pulled over by a State Trooper and the Trooper suspected that alcohol was a factor.  What did the off-duty cop do?  He refused to perform field sobriety tests or take a breath test.  What does he know that you don’t?

From the Chicago Tribune:

A Hammond police officer was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated early Saturday morning after an Indiana state trooper observed him veer across lanes of traffic on Interstate 65 and nearly drive off the road, the Indiana State Police said.

Mathew L. Anderson, 30, of Hammond, was arrested shortly after 2 a.m. on State Road 2, just south of the Indiana State Police post, after the trooper followed him as he exited from I-65, a news release from the state police said.

The trooper was making a traffic stop on I-65, just north of the Lowell/Hebron exit in Lake County, when he saw a 2007 Honda Civic “that had just passed in the left lane veer abruptly over to the exit ramp to (State Road) 2 while nearly (running) off the roadway, traveling completely onto the right shoulder,” the release said. “It was so abrupt the female driver of the traffic stop also observed the vehicle and stated, ‘Oh my God!’ ”

The trooper followed the car onto westbound State Route 2, watching as the driver weaved on the road and drove on the right shoulder, the release said.

When the trooper pulled Anderson over, he identified himself as a Hammond police officer and said he had weapons in the car, the release said. The trooper said he could smell alcohol on Anderson’s breath, but Anderson refused to take a Breathalizer test or field sobriety tests, according to the release.

Anderson was charged with two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and one of unsafe lane movement.

Steve Francis arrested for DUI

From the Washington Post:

Former Maryland and NBA star Steve Francis’s weekend arrest on a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge in Houston could be just the beginning of his legal worries. According to KTRK-TV, authorities in Manatee County, Fla., issued a warrant for Francis’s arrest on a burglary charge after hearing about his Texas DUI.

KTRK reports that Francis posted bond on his drunken-driving charge but is now back in Houston police custody because of the Florida charge, which stems from a June incident outside a restaurant in Bradenton.

TMZ has obtained the police report from the Florida incident, in which Francis allegedly asked a bartender at the Cortez Clam Factory for a flashlight on the evening of June 15. Police say he then ransacked a BMW parked outside the restaurant and took $7,252 worth of jewelry, makeup and cash from the car. Francis also, police say, showed up at the station two days later with a clear plastic bag full of the goods and said: “I just robbed somebody. Take me to jail. I’m turning myself in.” He left the station without being charged.

Francis, 39, was pulled over by police in Houston late Saturday night for going 88 mph in a 65-mph zone. Police say Francis smelled of alcohol, refused a sobriety test and was verbally abusive, drawing a felony retaliation charge for threatening a public servant, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The 2000 rookie of the year and three-time all-star played nine NBA seasons after his one standout year at Maryland, last appearing for the Houston Rockets in 2007-08. He averaged 18.1 points, six assists and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Dennis Rodman charged for Hit and Run crash

From the Chicago Tribune (via the Associated Press):

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been charged with hit-and-run for a wrong-way-related crash on a Southern California freeway.

Orange County prosecutors filed misdemeanor charges against Rodman on Monday for a July 20 accident on Interstate 5 in Santa Ana.

Prosecutors say Rodman’s SUV was traveling north in a southbound carpool lane around 12:30 a.m., forcing a sedan to swerve into a dividing wall to avoid a collision.

Rodman’s attorney, Paul Meyer, says the incident occurred on a poorly signed exit ramp. He says Rodman corrected the driving error without the cars touching, stopped and spoke to people in the other car.

Rodman’s also charged with driving across a dividing section and without a valid license, and giving police false information.

He could face two years in county jail if convicted.

Rams’ CB Troy Hill arrested for DUI after crash

From NBC news:

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Troy Hill was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated after a crash on the 101 Freeway Saturday morning, authorities said.

The California Highway Patrol received a report that a Mercedes Benz and a big rig had crashed on the westbound 101 Freeway west of Haskell Avenue just before 8 a.m., according to the CHP.

When officers arrived, one of the drivers identified himself as Troy Hill, and said he was a player for the Los Angeles Rams.

Hill was driving the white Mercedes when he swerved to the right and collided with the big rig, authorities said.

Officers at the scene noted that Hill showed signs of alcohol intoxication and conducted a series of field sobriety tests. Hill was arrested after officers determined he was under the influence of alcohol, according to the CHP.

Hill was taken to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Van Nuys jail where he was booked for DUI. He was released after posting $15,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Chicago Police DUI Strike Force to conduct Saturation Patrols this weekend

From the Chicago Police Department website:

DUI SATURATION PATROL– Shakespeare (014th) DISTRICT

The Chicago Police Department will be conducting a DUI Strike Force Patrol in the

Shakespeare (014th) District this weekend. The DUI Strike Force Patrol will commence at 6:00

p.m. on Saturday, November 19, 2016 and end at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 20, 2016.

The purpose of this program is to saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers

that continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving. Patrols also place

emphasis on speed, alcohol-related and safety belt violations. Police vehicles equipped for

speed detection are deployed to apprehend speeding violators.

In addition, the Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile Unit may also be deployed to allow

officers to expedite the process of charging a person with Driving under the Influence (DUI)

prior to transporting an alleged into the nearest lockup for bonding. The mobile unit also allows

for Individual Recognizance Bonds (I-Bonds) to be issued at the site of the DUI Strike Force

Patrol.

Food Network Chef Michael Chiarello arrested for DUI

chiarello

From CBS News:

Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and drug possession in Napa County.

The California Highway Patrol says Chiarello was arrested after his Porsche Boxster was stopped around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday on Silverado Trail. The area is a couple of miles from Yountville, where Chiarello has a restaurant, Bottega.

Chiarello was booked and released.

A spokesman, Terry Fahn, released a statement saying the chief was embarrassed and apologizes to his family, friends and business colleagues but intends to fight misdemeanor charges.

Chiarello is known for his “Easy Entertaining” show on the Food Network.