Wednesday August 8, 2012

GREAT BARRINGTON -- A Lee man was arrested on drunken driving charges on Tuesday evening after he nearly collided with other vehicles, police said.

Pablo Naranjo, 21, was driving on Stockbridge Road around 6:30 p.m. when he deliberately drove his parents’ Mazda van toward an oncoming car driven by Matt Sutton -- an off-duty West Stockbridge police officer -- before suddenly pulling away to avoid a collision, according to police.

After notifying police of the incident, Sutton followed Naranjo, who apparently had repeated the dangerous maneuver involving an unidentified female driver, police said.

Twenty minutes later, Naranjo, and his passenger, 21-year-old Joshua Weiner of Becket, entered the Price Chopper supermarket parking lot, where they were both arrested.

Based on a breathalyzer test, police said Naranjo had a 0.22 blood-alcohol content -- nearly triple the legal limit of 0.08. Officers found a partially filled bottle of whiskey in the van.

Naranjo was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and operating to endanger for allegedly swerving toward two vehicles.

He was released into the custody of his parents, pending an appearance in Southern Berkshire District Court on Thursday.

Weiner doesn’t face criminal charges, but he was being held on $240 bail in the Great Barrington police lock up for allegedly providing authorities with a false name. The arresting officers also said Weiner tried to escape from a police cruiser following his arrest and that he was in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Weiner has been ordered appear today in Central Berkshire District Court.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233