Traffic Stop Leads to DUI, Resisting Arrest Charges for Cranberry Man

| June 7, 2018

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – A Cranberry man is facing DUI and resisting arrest charges stemming from a traffic stop in Clarion Borough.

Court documents indicate that on Friday, June 1, the Clarion Borough Police Department filed the following charges against 58-year-old James Oliver Wise Jr., of Cranberry:

– Resist Arrest/Other Law Enforcement, Misdemeanor 2
– DUI: General Impairment/Incompetent of Driving Safely – 1st Offense, Misdemeanor
– Reckless Driving, Summary
– Careless Driving, Summary
– Driving Unregistered Vehicle, Summary
– No Rear Lights

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, June 14, in front of Magisterial District Judge Duane L. Quinn.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, around 12:31 p.m. on Friday, May 25, Detective Kemmer contacted Officer Fox concerning a white van believed to be involved in a hit and run at the 800 Center parking lot that was currently traveling east on Church Street near the Burns Funeral Home.

Officer Fox, who was traveling west on Church Street, passed the white GMC van in question and noted that the driver, later identified as James Oliver Wise, fit the description of the person involved in the hit and run.

Officer Fox turned around and began following the van and noted that its PA registration was expired, and it had a broken driver’s side brake light.

The complaint states that when Wise made a right turn from Church Street onto South 7th Avenue, he turned so wide that he was in the oncoming traffic lane. Officer Fox then initiated a traffic stop.

According to the complaint, the vehicle initially stopped at the intersection of South 7th Avenue and South Street, but while Officer Fox was calling the traffic stop into Clarion 9-1-1, Wise proceeded through the intersection and made a left hand turn onto South Street, ignoring Officer Fox’s lights and siren. Wise then continued to drive up South Street toward the intersection of 8th Avenue and Greenville Avenue, failing to pull over. Wise finally stopped the vehicle at the intersection of 8th Avenue, South Street, and Greenville Avenue, and Officer Fox immediately approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and asked Wise to put the vehicle in park and exit the vehicle.

According to the complaint, Wise stated, “No, you can’t just ask me out of my vehicle without a reason.”

During their initial interaction, Officer Fox noted that Wise had bloodshot, glassy eyes, slurred speech, and an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from inside his vehicle. Officer Fox told Wise he was giving him a final warning and said he needed to put the vehicle in park and step outside the vehicle. Wise refused again, the complaint states.

Officer Fox attempted to open the door but found it locked and asked Wise to unlock it. Wise allegedly refused, so Officer Fox reached inside the vehicle, unlocked and opened the door.

Wise would not exit the vehicle, so Officer Fox reached into the vehicle and pulled him out. Wise then “became combative, and the van began to drift forward; Detective Kemmer grabbed Wise while Officer Fox jumped into the van to place it safely in park,” the complaint states.

According to the complaint, Wise continued to resist throughout the process, and Officer Fox and Detective Kemmer had to forcefully place his hands behind his back in order to handcuff him. Officer Fox asked Wise to stand in front of his van and asked if he had a driver’s license on him, and “Wise mumbled that he had done nothing wrong and would sue for being put in handcuffs.”

The complaint states that “Wise had trouble maintaining balance and nearly fell over several times. Officer Fox asked Wise how much he had to drink, but Wise denied having anything to drink.”

When questioned about the hit and run at the 800 Center, Wise said he was never there and would know if he had backed into anything.

Officer Fox then proceeded to have Wise attempt several field sobriety tests. The complaint notes that Wise had trouble maintaining balance while being given instructions and failed to perform the walk and turn test properly.

According to the complaint, Detective Kemmer administered the preliminary breath test to Wise but could not get an accurate reading because Wise would not blow into the tube. At this time, Officer Fox attempted to place Wise under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. Wise began resisting again when the officers tried to place him in handcuffs, and they had to use substantial force to overcome his resistance.

The complaint indicates that Wise also said that “he already had one DUI and he got ARD for it and asked the officers to just let him just go to his mom’s.”

Mark’s Auto was contacted to tow the vehicle.

At 12:59 p.m. Officer Fox read to Wise his chemical testing warnings at Clarion Hospital and asked if he understood and if he would submit to a blood draw. Wise mumbled and said, “That’s a lot to take in.” Officer Fox read the warnings again and asked Wise once more if he understood and would submit to a blood draw, but Wise remained silent, according to the complaint.

At 1:05 p.m. Officer Fox marked Wise down as a refusal to his chemical testing warnings.

Wise was then transported to the Clarion Borough Police Station and was placed in the temporary holding cell until his uncle arrived to take custody of him, the complaint states.

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