ITHACA, N.Y. — An Ithaca man pleaded guilty to a felony Tuesday afternoon after fleeing from police while driving drunk through three townships, which initially led to him facing 23 charges.

Clifton McBean, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of felony driving while intoxicated. A sentence was not guaranteed in the plea because the offense is in violation of his parole. He was previously convicted of DWI in 2014.

According to court records, Tompkins County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to pull over McBean for a traffic infraction just after 2 a.m. on Aug. 9. Instead of complying, he sped off, going more than 55 mph over the speed limit, at times topping 105 mph as he headed north on Route 13.

After McBean eventually stopped the vehicle and he fled from police onto the lawn of an apartment complex and before being taken into custody by police.

Police said McBean confessed to being intoxicated and a bottle of open Apple Ciroc vodka was found on the floor of the front passenger side of the vehicle, spilling vodka onto the floor. He allegedly told police, “The only reason I sped off is because I was drunk and I did not want to get in no trouble. That’s the only reason I sped off.”

According to court  records, he was initially charged with the following:

  • First-degree aggravated unlawful operation
  • Third-degree unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle
  • Second-degree obstructing governmental administration
  • Felony driving while intoxicated
  • First-degree aggravated unlicensed operation
  • Failure to yield to the right of way to emerging vehicle (2 charges)
  • Using rented, leased or loaned vehicle without interlocking device
  • Following too closely
  • Driver’s view obstructed
  • Consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle
  • Unlicensed operation
  • Unregistered motor vehicle
  • Speeding over 55 mph in zone (2 charges)
  • Moved form lane unsafely
  • Failure to keep right
  • Speed in zone
  • Improper or unsafe turn without signal
  • Misdemeanor reckless driving
  • No stopping, standing, parking on highway
  • Unattended vehicle
  • Failure to stop at stop sign

McBean was represented by attorney Thomas Kheel and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Eliza Filipowski.

McBean is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. on March 27.

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.