The Times of Wayne County has a reputation in upstate New York for printing all arrests and publishing all mug shots in the county. Accordingly, a 43-year-old DUI defendant bought hundreds of copies in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent his community from reading about his arrest.
After being arrested, he ranted that he didn’t want his photo in that “rag of a newspaper.” As the police press release more politely phrased it, he declined to be photographed “because he did not wish to appear in the local paper.” Based on this refusal (he also refused to provide a breath sample or fingerprints), he was charged with second-degree obstructing governmental administration, in addition to DUI and traffic violations.
Then, as the local paper was being distributed on December 31, 2017, its editor-in-chief and owner began receiving calls that an individual (later identified as the defendant) was purchasing all of the copies. He bought up 900-1,000 copies at $1.25 each, all in the village of Newark. This behavior did not amount to a criminal offense.
The owner of a Newark grocery store on the evening of the incident recalled that the defendant grabbed all of the papers on the rack and inquired, “Is this all you have?” The owner responded that they had more. The defendant then asked for all of the papers on the rack, plus all of the copies they had in back.
As this interaction was occurring, a customer in the store asked the defendant to save her a copy; he refused. The store owner said he recognized the defendant, explaining he had looked through the paper and seen his picture in it.
Another store owner indicated that the defendant bought 70 copies from her and that he had gone to about four or five other stores before. He indicated that he wasn’t going to stop “until he bought every paper out.”
The Times of Wayne County has a circulation of just over 12,000, so the defendant bought up roughly one-twelfth of the newspaper’s distribution. The editor and his team immediately went out to restock newsstands to the best of their ability.
While the defendant may have mildly thwarted paper distribution, the Times of Wayne County also publishes its top news stories on its website. The defendant’s DUI arrest wasn’t originally a top story, but the editor says the incident “pushed” him to publish the story online. Moreover, the story was picked up by numerous national publications.
The defendant was arrested for DUI on December 29, 2016 after State Police received a report of a driver swerving on Route 31 in Palmyra at around 10:00 p.m. The trooper found the defendant’s vehicle drifting onto the shoulder and eventually stopping. After failing sobriety tests, the defendant was arrested for DUI. At the police station, Talbot called the arresting officer an impolite expression and then began on the aforementioned mugshot rant. The officers warned the defendant that his refusal would only make matters worse, but he refused to listen.
The defendant, who works as the vice-president of a bank, has declined to comment.
If you have been charged with a DUI offense in Illinois, it is crucial to speak to an experienced Illinois DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Harvatin Law Offices, PC provides knowledgeable representation to people in Springfield and throughout Illinois. We have considerable experience defending individuals charged with DUI offenses and representing drivers with revoked licenses before the Illinois Secretary of State. To learn more, and to set up a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 217.525.0520.
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