Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

July 9, 2013

Man faces DWI, tax fraud charges

STAFF REPORTS
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — NEWFANE — Niagara County Sheriff's deputies recovered several cartons of cigarettes without their proper tax stamps Sunday after they pulled over a vehicle for suspected DWI in Newfane.

Donald H. Wegman, 52, of Rochester faces several charges after it was determined he was driving while intoxicated. He later became hostile with patrol and was nearly arraigned by the town justice in the Newfane Town Court parking lot.

Wegman was pulled over around 5:42 p.m. after a patrol unit watched a vehicle he was allegedly operating drive on the shoulder over the fog line near Ellicott Drive. After the vehicle reversed direction for no apparent reason, it as pulled over by the deputy.

The driver identified himself, and the deputy noticed signs of intoxication. A background check revealed that Wegman's license was revoked to non-driver identification only and that it had been suspended for twelve scoffs on five dates, and revoked three times for three separate DWI convictions.

Wegman was asked to exit the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests could be conducted. He had difficulty completing several of the tests. After an alco-sensor test showed a positive reading for alcohol, Wegman was taken into custody. According to the report, as he was read his Miranda rights, Wegman became upset and said to patrol, "I am done with you."

Wegman refused to acknowledge whether or not he understood the Miranda and DWI warnings and answered all questions with silence. According to the report, although Wegman "repeatedly refused to answer patrol's questions" pertaining to his rights, he "made statements regarding other matters."

While preparing Wegman's vehicle to be towed, a deputy foundd a large amount of cigarette cartons in the backseat without proper tax stamps. According to the report, charges are pending regarding possible tax fraud. Also found inside the vehicle was an open container of Four Loko, which was still cold and appeared to have spilled inside the car. A bottle of vodka was found under the front passenger's seat.

After Wegman was transported to the Town of Newfane Court for arraignment, he became increasingly hostile with patrol and yelled several profanities, stating that he would not get out of the car to speak with the judge. A deputy reported that Wegman "was being so uncooperative that the judge agreed to perform a parking lot arraignment in which Wegman would stay in the back of the patrol car, and the judge would come outside for the hearing."

The judge came outside to speak with Wegman, who told the judge that his right handcuff was on too tight. A deputy slipped a finger in between Wegman's wrist and the cuff to show the judge they werent too tight, but Wegman quickly rotated his body, nearly causing the deputy's finger to hyperextend. According to the report, this action was captured on video.

Wegman eventually agreed to go inside the courtroom for arraignment. He is charged with driving on the shoulder, driver's view obstructed, open container, operating a motor vehicle without an interlock device, and felony aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree. He also faces a felony DWI charge, due to three prior misdemeanor convictions out of Monroe County.

Wegman was remanded to the custody of the Niagara county jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.