SCARSDALE, N.Y. – It took a coordinated effort by Scarsdale police officers on Saturday to track down an erratic, drunk driver, but at the end of the night, they got their man.
Shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday, police responded to a report of an erratic driver traveling on Mamaroneck Avenue toward Post Road. Without a description of the vehicle, the responding officer found a Ford Escape traveling behind a Mercedes-Benz in the area and had to make a determination about which was the guilty party.
According to the police report, the driver of the Ford abruptly came to a stop on Post Road, and the officer pursued the driver of the Mercedes, believing him to be the erratic driver. After making a traffic stop, the officer discovered that the driver in the Mercedes was actually the one who had reported the erratic driving.
“As I passed the Ford Escape, I observed the operator/defendant, who was later identified as Takamoto Ryoichi, holding and viewing a cellular phone in his right hand,” Officer Robaire Johnson’s report says. “Upon passing the Ford Escape, I observed the Ford strike the curbing on Fenimore Road between Ridgecrest West and Dobbs Terrace.”
When the officer doubled back, Ryoichi, a 30-year-old Hartsdale resident, was with assisting officers after the Ford suffered a flat tire from striking the curb. Officers noted that “the operator’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot” and there was “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.”
Ryoichi failed several standardized field sobriety tests, clumsily taking 14 steps during the “heel to toe” test when he was instructed to take nine and he was unable to stand on one foot and maintain his balance, stating that “I can’t do it” after 15 seconds.
A Datamaster test administered by officers showed that Ryoichi’s blood alcohol content to be 0.16 percent, double the legal limit. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 and operating a moving motor vehicle while using a portable device because he was on his cellphone. He is due back in court on Wednesday.
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