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Asleep at the switch: Driver blames hard work, not booze

A 41-year-old River Falls man was found slumped against the steering wheel, radio blasting while his vehicle idled without moving in a Main Street turn lane by West Maple Street before 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31.

When officers pounded on his window and finally got the man’s attention, he allegedly looked at them and locked his doors. Soon, however, he was coaxed outside.

The man said he works at a downtown bar and has his own cleaning business. Between the two jobs he claimed he doesn’t get enough sleep.

He also allegedly admitted to stopping for a few quick drinks that afternoon before picking up a Subway sandwich and trying to get home.

Field sobriety tests appeared to indicate that alcohol, not sleep, was the issue. The man was arrested for his second drunk driving offense.

During the past week, River Falls police also dealt with several domestic disturbances:

--Arrested and jailed a 20-year-old woman for a battery after she allegedly fought with her boyfriend, even allegedly biting the side of his face before 1 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 2.

The pair live in the same second-floor apartment on West Cascade Avenue. She is apparently pregnant with his child.

Police say the man, described as very drunk, had marks on his face. He claimed his girlfriend punched him, that it hurt and that she’s done this to him before.

The woman said her boyfriend was drinking, acting strangely and that she slapped him five times and told him “no” when he got close enough to grab her for a hug.

--Arrested and jailed a 21-year-old man for trying to beat up his roommate as they walked toward Family Fresh supermarket in the 300 block of South Main Street before 2 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31.

The assailant, angry with his roommate for unpaid bills, allegedly landed some blows to the other man’s head. A patrolling officer intervened.

--Arrested and jailed a 28-year-old local man for battery after he allegedly hit his girlfriend while they argued in bed about who should get up in the middle of night and give juice to their toddler son.

This occurred last Wednesday, Jan. 29, in an apartment at 1011 State Street.

Another tenant called 911 after hearing a baby screaming and a voice shouting, “Stop hitting me.”

--Arrested a 51-year-old local woman at an apartment at 1119 S. State Street for a probation hold before 2 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 2. The woman was allegedly arguing and then fighting with her adult son who was visiting from California.

The son denied kicking his mom and throwing a pizza in her face. He was released.

The woman was arrested for allegedly violating her court-ordered no-drink provision.

For more, please see Police Beat in the Feb. 6 print edition of the River Falls Journal.