The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

March 13, 2007

Geneva police busy with drunk drivers, drug arrest

GENEVA - - An Ashtabula woman was all wet Saturday when she drunkenly drove her 2004 Ford Escape over a fire hydrant, police reports show.

Tara Cowles, 28, of Ashtabula drove over the water hydrant on Route 84 at Sherman Road and Kiwanis Park, shearing off the utility outlet and flooding the roadway at 11:16 p.m., police said.

The roads were closed to traffic as officers worked to shut down the water and determine the cause of the crash.

"I was driving and I dropped my cell phone. When I reached to pick it up, I ran off the road along the curve," Cowles told police.

The officers smelled the strong presence of alcohol on Cowles, who later told police she had three drinks earlier in the evening. She was later released to a sober party.

Cowles was cited for failure to maintain reasonable control, Geneva Police Chief Dan Dudik said.

A Geneva officer coming back from a call Friday when he nearly collided with Ralph Lange, 80, of Geneva at Route 534 and Depot Road when Lange failed to yield at a stop sign, police said.

"I never saw you coming," Lange told the officers.

Lange was charged with OVI and failure to yield, police reports show.

Friday, Geneva officers helped Lake County law enforcement apprehend Scott Hoffacker, 28, of Geneva, who had a warrant through the Madison Township Police Department.

Acting on an anonymous tip, Geneva officers checked Hoffacker's uncle's home at East Tibbets Road and finally located the suspect at his place of employment, police said.

Hoffacker was handcuffed and searched in the lobby of Program Plastics, where the officers found a small bag of marijuana in Hoffacker's pocket. The officers estimate the drugs have a $5 street value, police reports show.

Hoffacker was cited on a misdemeanor drug count and was turned over to the Madison Township Police Department, police reports show.

- - MARGIE TRAX PAGE - Staff Writer

Star Beacon Print Edition: 3/13/2007

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