Local News

Unruly OWI Arrest

(La Porte, IN) - La Porte County Police arrested a man who allegedly thought it was OK for him to drive drunk.


Michael Fitzgerald, 40, is charged in La Porte Circuit Court with Operating While Intoxicated, Battery Intimidation, and Being a Habitual Traffic Violator.


According to court documents, on August 31, police were called to Serenity Springs in the area of U.S 20 and U.S 35. The complainant said Fitzgerald would not return a car he borrowed two hours ago to get some alcohol. Upon arrival, Fitzgerald was in a wooded area on the property with the vehicle. He then yelled profanities when officers showed up and refused to come out but, eventually, he pulled up next to a barn in the car and got out.


According to court documents, his balance was unsteady, and his eyes were bloodshot before refusing to submit to a blood-alcohol test. Authorities say he became highly agitated and stated, “It’s not illegal for him to drink and drive on private property.”


Fitzgerald became even more upset when officers explained his view of the law was incorrect, and he voiced more profanities and insults at the hospital where a blood sample was taken from him, police said. At one point, he allegedly grabbed an officer’s finger and refused to let go and attempted to head-butt another officer, police said.


Eventually, police forced him face-first into a corner and held him there until he was placed in restraints by hospital staff. His alleged blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

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