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Teen charged with larceny, DUI in accident

June 09, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A 16-year-old Hedgesville High School student spent the last day of the school year in the hospital and the police station after he went to school drunk then stole and wrecked a car, police alleged.

Martinsburg City Police on Monday charged the teenager as a juvenile with grand larceny of a motor vehicle, driving under the influence and driving without a license. West Virginia State Police say a juvenile petition for underage consumption will be presented to the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney's office.

The youth's name was not released because of his age.

West Virginia State Police responded to Hedgesville High School at about 9:47 a.m. after the principal reported that a student came to school drunk, said Sgt. Joe Adams.

Principal Dean Warrenfeltz said the boy was disoriented and teachers noticed something was wrong.

"When we couldn't reach the parents, we called the ambulance as a precautionary measure," Warrenfeltz said. "I know the student and have talked to him several times in passing and I could tell he was not his normal self. He was upset with himself, I think, for making a mistake."

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An ambulance took the boy to City Hospital in Martinsburg to determine his level of intoxication and to make sure he was OK, Adams said.

"For reasons unknown, he left City Hospital," said Sgt. Glenn Macher of Martinsburg City Police.

The boy walked to Martin's Landing, where he found a running 1984 Oldsmobile owned by Ronald M. Bowers, Macher said. When Bowers came out of his home to check the car, it was gone, according to Macher.

Martinsburg City Police received a call about the stolen car immediately after an accident was reported at 11:31 a.m. at Tavern Road and Sushurita Drive, Macher said.

According to witnesses, the vehicle overturned and struck a large brick sign, destroying the sign and the car, Macher said.

"The juvenile attempted to flee the location by exiting the vehicle and apparently, due to his injuries, he couldn't flee as fast as he would've wanted to," Macher said.

For the second time Monday, the teenager was taken to City Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Police wouldn't say what the teen's blood alcohol level was, but said he was intoxicated according to state standards.

In West Virginia, drivers over the age of 21 are legally intoxicated with a .10 percent blood alcohol level. Underage drivers are legally intoxicated with a .02 percent blood alcohol level.

Macher said the boy was released from the hospital to his parents.

The owner of the stolen vehicle was charged with leaving a running car unattended.

"There is absolutely no reason on a good summer day like it is today, to leave it running," Macher said.

The teenager likely will be suspended for the first 10 days of school next year, Warrenfeltz said.

"The county policy is zero tolerance toward alcohol or any drug abuse and we have a mandatory 10-day, out-of-school suspension and required counseling that the student must attend in order to return to classes," Warrenfeltz said.

The criminal charges involving the car won't affect disciplinary action because it didn't take place at the school, Warrenfeltz said.

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