Suspect in fatal crash driving 128 mph, 3X legal limit

From the Chicago Tribune:

Ciro Reyes Ramirez and his son had only been parked for a moment near the Tinley Park bar they were headed to clean early Tuesday morning, when a car allegedly speeding along Oak Park Avenue plowed into them from behind, he said.

Reyes Ramirez’s 20-year-old son Alberto Reyes, his youngest, was killed in the crash and he was injured. The driver of the other car, Joseph Vorberg, of Oak Forest, was drivingat about 130 mph, with a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit, when he crashed into their parked car, prosecutors said.

Vorberg fled the scene on foot after the crash, prosecutors said Thursday at the Cook County courthouse in Bridgeview. Police found him 30 minutes later, hiding behind a semitrailer that was parked near a Tinley Park bar, prosecutors said.

Vorberg, 37, of the 15300 block of Arroyo Drive, is facing charges including reckless homicide and aggravated DUI stemming from the crash. A Cook County judge set Vorberg’s bail on Thursday at $1 million.

Judge Peter Felice said Vorberg was a “danger to himself … and to the community,” based on the allegations presented in court.

Data pulled from Vorberg’s Cadillac ATS sedan indicated he was traveling 128 mph just seconds before he smashed into the parked car, prosecutors said.

Alberto Reyes was declared dead at the scene, prosecutors said. His father was treated at a local hospital for injuries that were not life threatening and released.

Vorberg had been drinking at bars in Tinley Park and Harvey before the crash, prosecutors said. He had been treated at a local hospital for his injuries.

A test conducted on Vorberg indicated that his blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit, prosecutors said…

A GoFundMe page has been set up under Alberto Reyes’ nickname, Beto.

Vorberg is also charged with DUI, failing to give aid/information at an accident, improper lane usage and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Vorberg returns to court Nov. 2.

Minnesota man arrested for 28th DUI

From the Star Tribune website:

A 64-year-old western Minnesota man has been caught for the 28th time driving while intoxicated, according to prosecutors, adding to what likely is a record that state authorities have long attributed to him.

Danny Lee Bettcher, of New York Mills, was charged in Otter Tail County District Court last week with felony-level drunken driving and refusing to submit to a preliminary breath test.

Assistant County Attorney Jacob Thomason said Tuesday that if convicted this time around, the maximum sentence is seven years, with the first two-thirds spent in prison and the balance on supervised release. Bettcher would then serve another five years on probation.

Bettcher’s criminal history already includes spending four years in prison for a prior drunken driving offense, and he’s been ordered to treatment at least a dozen times.

While appearing in an Otter Tail courtroom in 2010 for his 27th arrest, a record for a Minnesotan at the time, the on-and-off construction worker and handyman said, “I drink to get drunk.”

Bettcher’s 28th arrest came Thursday soon after he left the VFW in New York Mills, where he had been drinking. He’s also been caught driving drunk in Nebraska and North Dakota.

According to the criminal complaint:

An off-duty sheriff’s deputy was in the VFW and saw Bettcher drinking. Bettcher’s reputation for driving drunk is “well known to the law enforcement community,” read the charging document, which listed numerous aliases for the defendant.

The deputy alerted authorities that Bettcher was leaving the VFW in a car. Bettcher ignored a stop sign and drove about 10 to 15 miles per hour on Hwy. 10 and was swerving.

He made it another 200 yards before police pulled him over. Bettcher’s eyes were bloodshot and watery. A beer can was spotted behind the passenger seat.

The officer asked for Bettcher’s driver’s license. He produced a health identification card. The officer located Bettcher’s license and noted that it restricted him from drinking and driving.

Bettcher refused to conduct a field sobriety test and had to put his hands on the squad car to steady himself.

“I am way over,” he said. “Take me to jail.”

State Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Megan Leonard confirmed that Bettcher had a valid driver’s license at the time of his arrest, and that it included “a restriction that any use of alcohol or drugs invalidates the license.” As of Tuesday, a move to revoke his license is pending.

It is amazing to me that this man had a valid driver’s license after 27 DUIs.  In Illinois, it has been a lifetime ban upon a fourth conviction (with a limited possibility of getting a restricted permit after that but only after meeting some very onerous conditions and with a “one more strike and you are out” provision).  It is almost as amazing to me that he hasn’t spend years in prison for his previous DUIs.  As I pointed out in this blog post five years ago, an eighth DUI in Illinois (and in certain other states) could result in a life sentence.

LA Cop arrested in DUI crash that killed 3 just hours after he posted anti-DUI video

From Raw Story:

A Los Angeles police officer posted a “don’t drink and drive” Instagram video hours before he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence over a fatal crash that killed three people.

Edgar Verduzco, 26, was speeding on the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway in Whittier, southern California, when he struck the back of two cars, one of which was carrying three members of a family, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said, according to CBS Los Angeles.

The car carrying the family burst into flames and killed the three people inside. The victims have since been identified as Mario and Maribel Davila, a married couple, and their 19-year-old son Oscar Davila, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help with funeral costs.

Hours before the crash, a video was posted to an Instagram account belonging to Verduzco. The 10-second video featured a cartoon avatar honking the horn of a car, which is captioned #dontdrinkanddrive. The video appears to be shot in a bar; a glass of beer is seen in the background, KTLA 5 reported.

The Instagram account has not been confirmed as belonging to Verduzco, but other photos and videos posted on the account suggest it is his: one post in July has Verduzco’s name badge on display, KTLA 5 reported.

Verduzco was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and vehicular manslaughter and is being held on $100,000 bail, the The Washington Post reported. He suffered a broken nose in the incident.

Read the entire story here:  https://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/la-cop-posted-anti-drink-driving-video-before-crash/

Drunk Driver crashes into … “Report Drunk Driver” sign

cali_drunk_driving_crash

From KWQC.com:

Auto accidents do not get more ironic than this.

The California Highway Patrol says on Wednesday an intoxicated driver plowed over a sign that encourages motorists to report drunk drivers.

Stephen DeWitt, 57, of Aptos is now charged with DUI after police say he rolled his Jeep Wrangler on Highway 1 in Santa Cruz County.

Moments before the rollover, officers say DeWitt crashed into a sign that reads, “REPORT DRUNK DRIVERS CALL 911”.

The Santa Cruz CHP took a photo of the sign showing it came to rest lying face-up on the ground.

“He left this behind…Don’t drink and drive, it’s just not worth it!” the CHP posted along with the photo on its Facebook page.

Lake County Sheriff pleads guilty to making false statement in a DUI hearing

From the Chicago Tribune (Jim Newton reporting):

A former Lake County sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty to criminal contempt of court charges Wednesday for lying under oath during a misdemeanor DUI hearing last year in Lake County Circuit Court.

As a result of the plea, the state dropped felony perjury charges against 28-year-old Justin Hill, of Kenosha, and he was sentenced to a 90-day jail term that was stayed as long as he completes other conditions of his sentence.

Hill also was sentenced to a period of conditional discharge during which he must perform 100 hours of community service, pay a $500 fine and donate $500 to Lake County CrimeStoppers.

The sentence was handed down by Kane County Judge David Kliment after Lake County judges recused themselves from the case because the charges stemmed from proceedings in Lake County Circuit Court.

According to prosecutors, Hill was charged for lying under oath while he was being cross-examined by the defendant in the misdemeanor DUI case, in which the defendant was acting as his own attorney.

Defense attorney Thomas Briscoe said after the plea deal that Hill admitted he lied about whether he had contacted or attempted to contact the defendant in the case prior to the DUI hearing.

Briscoe said that Hill maintains he lied to protect an informant or informants related to another case he was doing on his own without the knowledge of the Lake County sheriff’s office.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said Wednesday that Hill’s position as a deputy was terminated June 2

…Sheriff’s office officials said inconsistencies were allegedly discovered in Hill’s testimony during a Nov. 2 civil court DUI hearing on the potential statutory summary suspension of a DUI defendant’s driving license….

Read the entire story here:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/crime/ct-lns-lake-deputy-perjury-plea-st-0914-20170913-story.html

Utah nurse arrested for refusing to draw blood for police

Doctors and nurses are supposed to be health care providers, not arms of the police state.  Yet, these days, many police officers think differently.

From NBC news:

A Utah nurse who refused to give a patient’s blood to police — and then was handcuffed and carried into a patrol car in an escalating incident — held an emotional news conference Thursday demanding better training by law enforcement.

“I just feel betrayed, I feel angry, I feel a lot of things,” said Alex Wubbels, a nurse at the University of Utah Hospital and a former Olympic athlete, as she wiped away tears.

“And I am still confused. I’m a health care worker,” she added. “The only job I have is to keep my patients safe.”

The July 26 encounter at the Salt Lake City hospital — in which Wubbels pleaded, “Stop! I’ve done nothing wrong!” — has prompted an internal police investigation.

Police bodycam videos released during Wubbels’ news conference showed the officer — later identified as Det. Jeff Payne — growing increasingly impatient as she tried to explain, according to hospital protocol, why she couldn’t draw an unconscious patient’s blood for a police investigation.

She told the officers gathered in the middle of the hospital’s work area that they need either an electronic warrant, patient consent or to be placing the patient under arrest if they want access to his blood.

The patient had been a driver in an earlier truck crash, and was badly burned and comatose at the hospital, reported NBC affiliate KSL-TV. Vials of his blood were needed as part of the investigation to determine whether the patient had illicit substances in his system at the time of the crash, according to a written report obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune.

n the videos, which may have been edited, Wubbels holds her ground about drawing blood. Payne then suddenly snapped.

“No, we’re done,” he said. “You’re under arrest, we’re going!”

He is seen pulling her arms behind her and places handcuffs around her wrists before yanking her to the back of the patrol car. He said she obstructed justice.

“Please sir, you’re hurting me,” Wubbels said.

“Then walk,” Payne responded.

Wubbels, from inside the car, screamed for help and that “I did nothing wrong!”

Other officers from the University of Utah and the Department of Public Safety, which provide security for the hospital, did not intervene during the arrest, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Wubbels was later released and no criminal charges were filed against her.

Payne, who remains on active duty with Salt Lake City police but has been suspended from the blood draw program, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Salt Lake City police spokeswoman said the department has been working closely with the hospital to ensure such actions never happen again and that it is alarmed by what occurred.

Read the whole story here:  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/utah-nurse-arrested-refusing-give-patient-s-blood-police-n798021

Royals’ Pitcher Danny Duffy arrested for DUI

Kansas City Royals’ pitcher Danny Duffy was arrested for DUI after being found asleep at a Burger King restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas.

From the Kansas City Star:

Royals pitcher Danny Duffy was cited Sunday in Overland Park for driving under the influence, police said Tuesday.

Duffy was arrested about 8 p.m. in the parking lot of Burger King at 13640 Metcalf Ave.

Overland Park police officer and spokesman Brian Payne said he could not release further details. A police report provides no other information.

“I just wanted to say that, for this situation that’s been put at hand, I apologize for the distraction, especially with where the team is at right now,” Duffy said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference at Kauffman Stadium. “Regardless of whether we’d been on a run or not, this is never a good time for this situation to come about.

“To every kid out there that looks up to me, that has read a headline, seen something, looks up to me, I’ll just continue to do great for this city. I promise you that. I think, any of you all know me, this is something that’s very difficult to go through. When everything comes out and shakes out, I’m going to be better because of it. I’m standing on a lot of people’s shoulders right now. And a lot of people have done a lot of things to help me get where I’m at.

“To those people, too, let the facts shake out, and please continue to have faith in me, because I’m better than the distraction that is at hand. And I’m going to continue do great things for this city.”

Under Major League Baseball rules, players charged with DUI can be punished by the league or by a team, but not both, and can be recommended to receive voluntary treatment.

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