N.J. Trooper Charged With DWI Says ‘I’m Not Drunk’ In Dashboard Video
TRENTON – Sgt. First Class Michael Roadside, who was charged with drunken driving last month, stated that he was sober on the scene of the parkway rest stop crash which he allegedly caused while on duty.
A dashboard video recording released on Wednesday showed Roadside saying “I’m not drunk.”
According to Roadside, he blamed his slurred speech, erratic behavior, and impaired walking, on a recent medical procedure. He claimed that he was on ‘anesthesia’ at the time of the crash.
A trooper responded to a 911 call made by the other driver, who was a female. When she saw Roadside’s erratic behavior, it made her fear for her own safety.
The dashboard video, which was recorded on 26 October, was obtained through an Open Public Records Act request. Roadside also said, “I’ve got to get home,” in the video.
According to Kimberly Wilson, the driver who was hit by Roadside, said that Roadside offered her $1,000 not to report the incident. He also offered to pay her for the damage he had caused to her car. Police reported that the damage was minor.
Jason Blazas was the trooper who responded to the scene. “I said, ‘Get back in your car. You’re scaring me,'” Wilson told him about Roadside when he arrived.
Blazas’ conversation over a communications system in his cruiser recorded him saying about Roadside that he “seems kind of out of it.”
“He comes out of the car, his shirt’s all untucked, he’s got — I don’t know if it’s saliva or vomit on his shirt,” the trooper said.
A supervisor soon arrived at the scene upon Blazas’ request. Sgt. Matthew J. Durak arrived toward the end of the video. He reported the whole incident later saying that he “immediately noticed a very strong smell of an alcoholic beverage” as he approached Roadside.
A search through Roadside’s vehicle revealed a cardboard case of Coors Light and two open containers later. Wilson also told Durak that a Bud Light bottle cap and a loaded magazine from his gun fell out of Roadside’s shirt during their interaction.
Roadside was tested for intoxication and his breath test showed is blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit.
He was charged with DWI, careless driving, and having an open container in his vehicle.
The charges were filed in the Wall Township municipal court.
His attorney, Robert Ebberup, said that his client was “a dedicated trooper for about 29 years of loyal service without any problems.” However, he declined to comment on the allegations.
An internal investigation is going on by the State Police. Meanwhile, Roadside remains suspended without pay.
Another video recorded in one of the troop cars present on the scene was released in proprietary format but could not be opened.
News Source: www.NJ.com