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Sparta — News

Two Police Arrests for DWI

Sgt. John-Paul Beebe

Sunday, April 6, 2014 • 8:08pm

SPARTA, NJ- A Hopatcong teen was arrested for DWI on the morning of Saturday, March 29 after the 2011 black Chevrolet Camaro that he was operating was reported to be passing traffic across the double yellow lines on Main Street.  On March 29th At approximately 10:36 a.m. multiple 9-1-1 calls sent police to the area to investigate the report.

A short time later the Camaro identified by eyewitnesses was located parked in front of the Dunkin Donuts on Center Street. The operator, later identified as 19-year-old Patrick J. Hannigan-Devine, was arrested a short time later after he failed a series of Field Sobriety Tests.  He was then transported to police headquarters for processing and breath testing.

Hannigan-Devine was later charged with; DWI, Careless Driving and Failure to Produce a Driver’s License.  He was released several hours later to a sober adult.  His vehicle was impounded.  Sgt. Joseph Pensado and Cpl. Louis Takacs assisted at the scene.

 

A Hackettstown man was arrested early on the morning of Saturday, April 5 after the vehicle he was operating was stopped for erratic operation.  At approximately12:54 a.m. Sgt. Jeffrey Mase was on routine patrol traveling south on Sparta Avenue when he came up behind a black Honda Civic.

The sergeant's attention was drawn to this vehicle because it could not maintain a single lane of travel.  The vehicle crossed the double yellow lines and then abruptly swerved right crossing over the white fog line.

The vehicle was subsequently stopped on Andover Road.  As Mase spoke to the operator, identified as 20-year-old Michael L. Leopardi, he detected a strong odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the vehicle.

Leopardi explained to the officer that he had smoked earlier in the evening. He then voluntarily handed over to the sergeant a small white box containing 50 grams or less of marijuana.  Mase’s suspicions were heightened that Leopardi may be under the influence.  Mase  then directed Leopardi to exit his vehicle to perform a series of Field Sobriety Tests. 

Leopardi could not correctly perform the tests as directed and stopped midway through the testing, telling the investigating officer that he could not do them because “I am under the influence of marijuana.”   He was then placed under arrest and transported to police headquarters for processing.

Leopardi was later charged with; DWI, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in a Motor Vehicle,  Failure to Keep Right and Careless Driving.  He was released several hours later to a sober adult.  His vehicle has been impounded.  Cpl. Marc Rubino assisted with the investigation. 

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