Amid sobering temperatures, police arrested two and cited another driver for operating while intoxicated after three separate incidents Monday afternoon.
500 block of University Avenue
Police arrested James Land, 25, of Waunakee, Monday at about 1 p.m. after he passed out in his vehicle from heroin use.
Land was slumped over his steering wheel and his car was parked over the sidewalk on University Avenue. Madison Police Department spokesperson Joel DeSpain said a student tried unsuccessfully to wake Land up and then called police.
Fire department personnel broke into the car, police reported, and upon realizing Land had been using heroin, gave him Narcan to revive him.
Police reported Land was arrested for driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and bail jumping.
DeSpain said it is likely Land had just purchased the drugs in the Madison area.
“We do see people who drive from smaller communities into Madison and often times are so desperate for a fix,” he said. “So when they purchase heroin they do it right away.”
John Nolen Drive
Police also arrested Jacob Lasiewicz, age 27, of Waterloo, after he crashed his truck into a van owned by Meriter Hospital.
DeSpain said while it is not confirmed Lasciewicz was using drugs, police found needles and other drug paraphernalia on his person when he was arrested.
According to the MPD report, Lasciewicz exited the truck after the incident and began to run away, but officers were able to catch him. He then claimed he had not been in any car crash, DeSpain said.
He also said police are waiting on toxicology reports to see whether Lasciewicz was using drugs.
DeSpain said crashes like this are insights into the serious dangers associated with the drug “epidemic” in Madison.
“A lot of times [the epidemic] doesn’t impact people who are not addicted,” he said. “But I think when the people who are addicted intersect with the rest of the community is when they get behind the wheel.”
West Beltline Highway
Police arrested another man for driving under the influence at approximately 5 p.m. Monday after he drove into the highway median on the West Beltline Highway.
According to the police report, Michael Peterson, 49, of Madison, was stuck in the median and trying to get his car out when police arrived and determined he was intoxicated.
DeSpain said police arrested Peterson for his sixth offense of drunken driving.