Man faces prison time after passing out in car

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - A St. Louis man faces time in prison, after he passed out in his car at a south St. Louis County gas station.  The car was parked between two gas pumps, for at least 30 minutes, and customers took notice.

When employees at the Tesson Ferry Road Petro-Mart walked out to check on the driver, they discovered 28 year-old Mitchell Schwartz, fast asleep with the seat leaning back, with beer cases scattered throughout the car.

A witness says Schwartz even used an empty beer case as a pillow.  The headlights were on, and the engine was running.  Petro-Mart employees quickly called police.

When law enforcement arrived, they tried to wake him up, first, with the standard knocking on his window.  Then, they shined a spotlight and then flashlights on him.  They even blared their sirens. Schwartz remained passed out.

Ultimately, police broke the passenger window, and he finally stirred.  Police say Schwartz denied drinking, yet had an open beer can between his legs, and another in the center console.
He was slurring his speech and fell several times.  It was so bad, they didn’t even have him perform a field sobriety test, fearing his own safety.

St. Louis County Police Officer Brian Schellman explains, “We’re never just going to leave that scene. We can’t have somebody that appears to be this intoxicated, if we leave the scene, then drive off and kill himself, or some innocent person.”

Schwartz is now charged with Driving While Intoxicated Persistent Offender, a Class D Felony. Within the past 10 years, Schwartz has pled guilty to two other DWI’s.

This time, Schwartz refused a Breathalyzer, so it will remain a mystery how much alcohol was in his system that led to those extreme efforts to wake him up.

12 comments

  • Dazzette

    When I’m inside my car, the doors are unlocked. I guess that wasn’t the case here? Because instead of busting the window you would think the cops could simply open the door. Oh well. Luckily he won’t be driving for awhile. At least I hope.

    • petalpusherwandcleaner

      He was drunk …………. and the engine was running……….many cars AUTOMATICALLY lock the doors when you place them in gear…..unknown if this vehicle was stopped in gear, but if it was in park, it would still keep the doors locked till you open them.

  • Steven Sweeney

    Seeing way too many of these guys lately with multiple DWIs and still driving drunk, usually while revoked.Give him hard time and maybe that will wake him up before he kills somebody.

  • Ken

    You should always lock your doors upon entering your car. It is safer in an accident (reduces the chance the door pops open unintentionally) and may save you from a carjacking.

  • rick

    deny,deny,deny make them prove you have been drinking – other than the fact you have open beers, slurring and no balance

    • Bob

      Great idea! Keep encouraging reckless behavior that could kill him or others. People like him (and apparently you) need to wake up to how many lives are ruined every day because of drunk driving. This isn’t a new problem.

  • Dazzette

    I have always driven older cars, most of the time with manual locks, so I didn’t know they locked automatically. Thanks for clearing that up! :)

  • Joe

    If the keys are in the ignition, whether it is started or not, it is considered DWI/DUI. That is the way the law is, for better or for worse..

  • Pat

    I live right around the corner from this station and I get my gas there every week. I don’t care how the police had to get him awake and out of the car. What a idiotic thing to ‘worry’ about. His rights? Nope, he tossed any rights he may have out the ‘broken window’ when he CHOSE to drive while under the influence. I know people who have served time for repeated DUI/DWI and it’s horrible for their families, but they all have cleaned up their lives and don’t drink now. I wish all offenders of these crimes would do the same. I want to drive on safe roads.

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