Ithaca, N.Y. — A drunk driver was arrested in late February after trying to escape from law enforcement, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

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Richard L. Bitter III, 35, of Hector, has been charged with one count of Felony Driving While Intoxicated and Driving While Intoxicated, as well as  Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle and Unsafe Turn.

Bitter was released and is scheduled to appear in Ithaca Town Court on March 11 at 4 p.m.

The following account comes from the sheriff’s office:

On Feb. 25, at 12:13 a.m., deputies were told of an erratic driver going east on Slaterville Road in the town of Ithaca.

While talking to the person who called 911, a grey 2011 Nissan truck stopped by the deputy. The complainant told the police that this was the car that had been driving erratically.

The deputy turned on his emergency lights and approached the vehicle, telling the driver to remain where he was stopped. But the driver then backed up, turned around in the road and drove west on Slaterville Road.

“The deputy pursued the vehicle with emergency lights and siren activated. The operator failed to stop continuing westbound on Slaterville Road then turning onto Lois Lane then proceeding onto Penny Lane,” the statement says.

The driver then stopped at the end of Penny Lane, got out of the vehicle and tried fleeing by running through a parking lot.

A deputy then ran to Bitter and arrested him after a short chase. “He finally complied and was taken into custody,” the statement says.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.