A Lansford man, who allegedly drove his truck with two small children inside while intoxicated, then got into a fight with another man, faces charges that include driving under the influence (DUI) and endangering the welfare of children.
The charges faced by John Kaufman, 48, of 40 W. Patterson St., stem from the incident which took place at 6:12 p.m. Oct. 19 on West Bertsch Street. In addition to the two counts of DUI and endangering charges, he faces charges of reckless driving, careless driving, and harassment, all filed by Officer Robert Shubeck.
Here's what happened, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed with District Judge Casimir Kosciolek of Lansford:
Shubeck was dispatched to a fight involving two men behind the former Panther Valley Middle school. A second report advised him the fight "getting pretty heated" and that one man was intoxicated.
Upon arrival he saw that a man later identified as Kaufman standing in front of the victim. He appeared to be arguing with him and had the victim up against the metal fence at the former school.
Shubeck asked them what was going on and the victim said that Kaufman had driven up in a truck, got out, came at him and started yelling in his face and grabbed him by the throat.
Kaufman admitted pushing the other man and said that he had a problem with him coming to his house when he wasn't home to repair a computer the man had sold to Kaufman's wife. Shubeck asked Kaufman what he did to the man and Kaufman said he drove up and saw him and started yelling at him and pushed him.
While Kaufman was talking Shubeck noticed a strong odor of alcohol and saw that he was slurring his speech and that his eyes appeared to be glazed. He asked Kaufman how he had gotten to the area and Kaufman replied that he drove his truck, pointing to the vehicle parked across the street.
Shubeck saw that there were two small children in the rear of the truck, a blue Ford F-150.
Shubeck told Kaufman he was concerned about whether he should be driving in his condition and asked Kaufman to to stand with his feet together so Shubeck could perform field sobriety tests.
Kaufman said "just take me."
Shubeck gave him another opportunity to perform the tests and Kaufman again said "just take me."
Shubeck arrested Kaufman for DUI and asked Kaufman's wife, who had not been drinking, to take the children home. He learned the couple had been waiting to pick up their daughter from the nearby bus stop.
Shubeck took Kaufman to St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital, Coaldale, where a blood test revealed a blood-alcohol level of 0.23 percent almost three times the 0.08 percent that is the threshold for drunken driving.