A Roseburg man was sentenced to work crew and had his driver’s license suspended after pleading guilty Monday to pulling a pickup into an elementary school parking lot while intoxicated as police tried to stop him.
Paul William Young, 36, pleaded guilty in Douglas County Circuit Court to driving under the influence of intoxicants and two counts of recklessly endangering another person, all misdemeanors, in connection with the Oct. 1 incident.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Yoshida said police spotted Young after someone called him in as a potentially impaired driver and he hit a mailbox on Curry Road.
Young initially pulled over on Broccoli Street, but then drove away as the officer began to approach, leading to a low-speed pursuit through the neighborhood that ended at the Fullerton IV Elementary School parking lot on Bradford Drive.
“This was during the close of the school day,” Yoshida said, explaining that while no children were put at immediate risk from the driver, there were children in the general area.
Officers, including one who ordered the man out at gunpoint, detained him at the school.
Defense attorney David Terry told Judge Ronald Poole that a combination of beer and Prozac had an effect his client did not expect.
“It had a dramatic effect,” Terry said, adding that the man’s behavior that day was completely out of character.
Young, estimating that he had drank more than a dozen beers since the previous night, said he remembered little from the incident. He said he had been visiting his grandmother in the Garden Valley area and must have been on his way home.
He said he did not realize police were trying to stop him, and doesn’t know why he pulled into the school, where his son is a student.
“I had no idea what time it was,” he said, responding to initial reports that he may have been trying to pick up his son.
Young said he had only been on Prozac for two or three weeks and immediately stopped taking it following the incident. Terry added that Young has been sober since then, too.
“I’m so happy that it didn’t turn out worse than it did,” Young said.
Poole said that since children were potentially endangered, not actually endangered, he did not believe jail time was warranted. He followed a plea agreement and dismissed charges of attempt to elude police, failure to perform the duties of a driver and reckless driving.
Young, who has no prior criminal record, will have the chance to complete a DUII diversion program. Poole sentenced him to 10 days of work crew, and suspended his license for 90 days.
• You can reach reporter Chelsea Duncan at 957-4246 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.