By Jim Clark
An officer on patrol shortly after midnight last Friday reportedly spotted a vehicle running a red light at the intersection of McGrath Hwy. and Highland Ave.
According to reports, the traffic signal had clearly been red as a van approached and went through the intersection without stopping.
The patrolman followed the van and signaled for it to pull over. After traveling on a considerable distance the vehicle finally came to a stop in the middle of the right hand lane of the street.
As the officer approached the loud arguing taking place between a man and a woman inside could be heard, police said.
The officer tapped on the passenger window and asked for it to be rolled down. The male passenger reportedly told the officer that the window was damaged and could not be rolled down and opened the door instead.
The officer reported that the odor of alcohol was coming from inside the van.
When asked for her license and vehicle registration, the driver, later identified as Ebony Lepenn, 34, of Winthrop, reportedly appeared to be intoxicated, in the opinion of the officer.
Police said that Lepenn was verbally abusive and generally uncooperative with the officer, who noted that the woman’s speech was slurred.
As the officer continued to try and persuade Lepenn to produce her drivers license, she reportedly denied having gone through a red light.
When asked where she had been coming from, Lepenn reportedly told the officer, “Wherever. What does it matter?”
Lepenn reportedly found her license and handed it to the officer. A backup patrol car had arrived and another officer took the license to conduct RMV inquiries on Lepenn.
The officer who had made the stop stood near the driver’s side window and continued questioning Lepenn, who seemed to have alcohol on her breath, according to police.
Lepenn reportedly continued to speak abusively in a confrontational manner. At one point, she opened a plastic container and began eating rice with her hand.
After considerable coaxing, according to reports, Lepenn was persuaded to exit the vehicle to undertake field sobriety tests. Police said that she continued to shout and move unsteadily throughout the procedure, drawing attention from neighbors and passers-by.
As Lepenn continued to yell and wander around unsteadily – at one point reportedly attempting to walk away from the scene – not complying with officers’ requests to undertake the sobriety tests, she was placed under arrest, according to police.
A knife was reportedly found on Lepenn’s person while a pat frisk was conducted.
Lepenn has been charged with violation of city ordinance possession of a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct, operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, failure to stop or yield, and resisting arrest.