Not his first rodeo: Man accused of hitting officer while intoxicated had 14 prior convictions

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BETHEL PARK, PA – On May 3rd, a motorist was charged with aggravated assault and driving under the influence along with several others counts after he allegedly hit a Bethel Park police officer.

The officer was struck by the sideview mirror of a car being driven by Richard Caporal, knocking him into a police cruiser before the suspect vehicle ran over his foot, say police.

If convicted of the DUI charge, it will be Caporal’s 15th for that offense, as reported by the Tribune-Review.

His convictions date all the way back to the mid-1970s. While his sentences varied, he spent very little time in jail for the offenses.

On the evening of his latest incident, two officers were assisting Chief Timothy O’Connor with a traffic stop. At approximately 8:40 pm, a Ford Escape came through that location with no headlights, striking one of the officers. That officer was transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was later released to recover at home.

In the complaint against Caporal, Officer Stephen Hozella stated that he ran after the vehicle ordering the driver to stop. He complied.

When Hozella made contact with the driver, he said that “the odor of an alcoholic beverage was emanating from the vehicle.” He also stated that Caporal’s speech was slurred.

He told the officer that he and his passengers were coming from work and that he had had “one beer.”

Hozella asked him to step out to conduct a field sobriety test, which he failed. They attempted two additional roadside tests, but he either could not or not participate, according to the report.

He was transported to St. Clair Hospital where he refused consent for a blood draw. He complied after police obtain a search warrant. It is unclear exactly what his blood alcohol content actually was.

He is now in the Allegheny County Jail, unable to post the $5,000 bond. He has been charged with aggravated assault, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance, accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, driving under suspension, reckless driving and criminal mischief.

Chief O’Connor spoke with CBS Pittsburgh regarding the matter.

“He is under suspension for being DUI, so he also should not be driving. Also didn’t have his headlights on at the same time. It is very frustrating when people are convicted then they continue to drive.

The one thing I say is, you don’t run into a lot of these cases anymore. Officers are always one call away from being harmed or worse.

We have police Memorial Day coming up and we always take a week out of the month of May to acknowledge the sacrifices of those that go out. They never know the dangers they are going to face.” 

To Chief O’Connor’s point, it was just over a month ago that another impaired Pennsylvania motorist struck and killed two state troopers and a civilian. Continue reading for that story.

It was ironic that he was discussing the dangers that officers across the country face, given that the Bethel Park PD honored fallen officers the day after the incident, with the Honor Roll Riders biking several miles to the department’s memorial for those lost in the line of duty.

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Police: Suspect who killed two state troopers and a civilian tweeted “I’m the best drunk driver ever”

PHILADELPHIA, PA- According to reports, the woman being accused of driving under the influence when she struck and killed two state Pennsylvania State Troopers and a civilian previously boasted about her drunk driving skills on social media.

Twenty-one-year-old Jayana Tanae Webb faces more than a dozen charges, including three counts of third-degree murder, three counts of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, and two counts of second-degree manslaughter of a law enforcement officer.

On January 15th, Webb allegedly tweeted:

“If you ask me, I’m the best drunk driver ever.”

On Tuesday, March 22nd, Webb was seen in a pair of handcuffs belonging to the two fallen troopers as she was transported from the Pennsylvania State Police Troop K barracks to Philadelphia police headquarters.

Around 1 a.m. on Monday, March 21st, state troopers Martin F. Mack III, 33, and Branden T. Sisca, 29, pulled Webb over on suspicion of DUI on I-95. The troopers released Webb when they were summoned to deal with 28-year-old Reyes Rivera Oliveras, who was walking on the left side if the southbound lanes two miles away.

The troopers walked Oliveras to their SUV, but as they were getting him into the police vehicle, Webb allegedly rammed into the SUV at a high speed, killing all three men.

The impact sent all three men over the median and into the northbound lanes. They were all later pronounced dead at the scene and Webb was taking into custody.

Law enforcement sources told FOX 29 that the 21-year-old driver had a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit. The Daily Mail noted that Webb’s Twitter account contains numerous references to alcohol during the months of January and February.

On February 18th, she referred to “getting in at 8am drunk” and on January 21st she posted, “I get drunk & start saying anything.” Sources with law enforcement confirm that investigators are looking into Webb’s social media.

Mack, who was married with two children, also served as an assistant lacrosse coach at Harry S. Truman High School. In a statement, Head Coach Mike Walczak told CBS Philadelphia:

“The players just wanted to say that Marty Mack taught them a lot, not just as lacrosse players, but in life as well. They loved the opportunities they got to spend with him and the lessons that he taught them will never be forgotten.”

Sisca was married with one unborn child as his wife is pregnant. He also served as the fire chief at the Trappe Fire Company. He joined the force in February 2021.

According to CBS Philadelphia the judge denied Webb bail despite this being her first arrest, citing the seriousness of the alleged crimes and public safety. During the arraignment, it was also revealed that Webb admitted at the crash site to drinking earlier that night.

Webb’s attorney, Michael Walker, asked the public to hold judgment until the facts are tried in court. He said in a statement:

“We are never the worst thing we have done in our life. If in fact she is found guilty of this, she is more than that and right now she is an innocent person. She is extremely saddened. She’s not a violent criminal. She has not past, no prior contacts with police whatsoever. She’s a great person and it would devastate most people and right now she’s devastated.”

Sisca’s father is Craig Sisca, who is a deputy at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Sean Kilkenny said in a statement:

“I have not had a chance to talk with him. I left him a message. I’m sure him and his family are dealing with this tragedy in their own way.”

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“Too intoxicated” to care: Investigators call out the suspect who killed an officer in a DUI crash

January 26th, 2022

HARRIS COUNTY, TX – Harris County deputies are mourning the death of yet another law enforcement officer in a week.

This time, the alleged suspect in the case was intoxicated when she struck then drug a Harris County deputy to his death before fleeing the scene, according to police. Prosecutors in the case called the suspect “too intoxicated” to care.

On January 24th, Harris County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ramon Gutierrez, was conducting traffic control for oversized machinery on East Sam Houston Parkway North at Tidewell just after midnight when the incident occurred.

Sergeant Gutierrez’s marked police motorcycle was on the highway with all of the lights on while he was standing in front of the area directing traffic. He was wearing his police-issued reflective traffic vest at the time.

Sean Teare, the Harris County Vehicular Crimes Division Chief, reported the suspect, identified as Lavillia Spry, was driving in the area and bypassed the police motorcycle that everyone else in the area had avoided and continued towards Sergeant Gutierrez.

Sergeant Gutierrez attempted to jump out of the way of Spry’s car but was unable to do so. Teare said:

“At the very last second, he [Gutierrez] tried to get out of the way. He couldn’t do it and she struck him. She drug him for quite a while and then just continued on as if nothing happened.

We had another one of the deputies who was escorting that rig who subsequently chased her for over a mile and was finally able to stop her, bring her back to the scene.”

Medics arrived on the scene and tried to revive Sergeant Gutierrez who suffered traumatic injuries from the crash. Sadly, despite the best efforts of all involved, Sergeant Gutierrez succumbed to the injuries he received.

Officers who were able to stop Spry noted signs of intoxication when they encountered her. They requested that she perform field sobriety exercises to determine if she was safely able to operate a motor vehicle which she failed.

Spry was taken into custody and a bodily search warrant was authored so that they could take her blood to determine her level of intoxication. The warrant was approved and the blood was seized. Teare said:

“She [Spry] performed really badly on the field sobriety test. We got a search warrant. We took her blood.”

Teare noted that he has known Sergeant Gutierrez for several years as he was the officer on his first vehicular manslaughter case. Teare noted that knowing the victim in the case made it harder to prosecute. He said:

“The Vehicular Crimes Division of the Sheriff’s Department had to investigate this crash knowing that Ramon was either on death’s door or already deceased. It was emotional for me. It was incredibly emotional for every single one of them that were working there.”

Teare also expressed frustration knowing that the Sergeant’s death was completely avoidable, had Spry allegedly not driving while intoxicated. He said:

“He’s dead because she acted in an incredibly selfish manner to even turn the key and start the car, but then, just continue to act in a selfish manner by deciding she wasn’t going to go to the next exit, she was going to drive around the police.”

He added:

“There had been numerous cars that heeded his [Gutierrez] warning and not come down that exit, but sadly, Ms. Spry was too intoxicated to pay attention or quite frankly to care, and Sergeant Gutierrez is dead because of it.”

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez spoke about losing another deputy in the county in just a week. He said:

“Our hearts are broken. There just isn’t really a word, any words when we lose a hero, a law enforcement officer in our community. It’s not only a loss to our agency, but also a loss to the community at large.

“It’s been tough for law enforcement to start the new year. We also had the untimely death of Deputy Crowder last week. I know NYPD also suffered a loss. A young police officer was gunned down responding to a domestic disturbance call and the second is battling for his life.

“It really hits home when we step away from the job sometimes and just see the impacts that they had in the community and in service, with their families. It just really leaves a large gap in our hearts. And that’s why we say it’s a commitment we make that will never be forgotten.”

Sergeant Gutierrez is survived by his wife, two sons, and a daughter that is scheduled to get married in just two months.

Rest easy Sergeant Gutierrez, we have the watch from here.

 

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