Police Find Drugs on Driver Found Passed Out at Wheel

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Photo by Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku via Flickr Creative Commons

A Watertown man faces several charges, including drug possession, following an arrest that started when he was found passed out behind the wheel of a running vehicle.

On Jan. 9, 2019, at 5:11 p.m., Watertown Police received a call about a vehicle blocking the intersection of Ralph Street and Grant Avenue. When officers arrived they saw a man passed out behind the wheel of a Ford F-250 pickup truck with the motor running and in gear, said Watertown Police Lt. James O’Connor.

“It took several attempts banging on the window and yelling and he did not respond,” O’Connor said. “Officers opened the passenger door and was able to wake him and was able to secure the vehicle.”

The driver, identified as Michael Sansevero, showed signs of impairment, O’Connor said.

“He did not appear to understand simple instructions and when he was asked to get out of the vehicle he refused,” O’Connor said.

Officers asked him for his name, license and registration, but Sansevero refused to give them to Police.

Sansevero took his foot off the brake and the vehicle began moving with an officer in the passenger seat, O’Connor said. He also started honking the horn as the vehicle moved, causing people to come out to see what was happening.

Officers were able to stop the vehicle, put it in park and take the keys out of the ignition.

When they asked him to get out of the vehicle, Sansevero again refused, and physically resisted being removed from the pickup, O’Connor said. Eventually, Police were able to get Sansevero under control, remove him from the vehicle, and put him in handcuffs.

While searching Sansevero, officers found a small amount of a white powdery substance, and during inventory of the vehicle they found narcotics paraphernalia and narcotics residue, O’Connor said.

Michael C. Sansevero, 26, of Watertown was arrested on charges of refusing to identify himself, failing to stop for police, driving under the influence of drugs, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, possession of a Class A drug, and was cited for obstructing traffic.

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