Norwalk driver charged with DUI after backing into cop car

Cary Ashby • Apr 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

An underage, intoxicated Norwalk driver was charged in connection with hitting a police officer's cruiser Sunday morning.

Jacob A. Vermillon, 20, of 154 W. Main St., Apt. A3, was seen backing up a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer in the Westside Sunoco parking lot at 8:37 a.m. Norwalk Police Officer Larry Noftz, who was standing beside his parked cruiser at the time, said in his report he yelled for Vermillon to stop and he banged on the side of the sport utility vehicle (SUV), but Vermillon continued backing until the Trailblazer hit the front of the police car.

"There is a pretty good size dent on the driver's side back door," Capt. Mike Conney said.

Noftz interviewed the driver after he was allowed to park. The officer determined Vermillon didn't have a valid driver's license.

When Noftz asked about who owned the Trailblazer, Vermillon "said it didn't belonged to him," according to the report.

"He said he took the keys while everybody was sleeping," Conney said.

Two officers responded to the scene. Conney said one of the officers reported smelling a strong odor of alcohol on Vermillon. Police transported him to the station to take a breathalyzer test.

Vermillon's blood alcohol content level tested at .186, Conney said. The legal limit for drivers in Ohio is .08.

The SUV owner and her daughter later came to the station at the request of police. Conney said the owner, a Huron resident, reported only she, her son and daughter are allowed to drive the SUV and the last person to drive it was her 18-year-old daughter.

The daughter reported being half-asleep when Vermillon allegedly approached her about driving the SUV.

"She couldn't remember if she gave him permission or not," said Conney, who noted the daughter declined to provide a written statement to police.

It's unknown why Vermillon was at the family's residence.

Police also contacted Abby Keefer, the Norwalk Municipal Court intensive probation officer. She authorized officers to transport Vermillon to the Huron County Jail for a probation violation, Conney said.

Vermillon was charged with driving under the influence, underage consumption, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, failure to control and driving without a license.

Police are in the process of having the cruiser evaluated for a damage estimate.

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