Judge Young arrested for DUI; Chief Judge is passenger

Ann Knef Dec. 6, 2006, 1:55pm

The day before he was to be sworn in as St. Clair County Circuit Judge, Patrick M. Young, 58, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to yield by a Belleville Police Department patrolman.

According to a Dec. 3 police report, Young -- northbound on Frank Scott Parkway in Belleville -- turned left onto Dutch Hollow Road in front of a southbound vehicle driven by Abel Muhammed, 40, of Swansea.

Muhammed, who had to be extricated from his 2006 Toyota Tundra, was treated and released from Memorial Hospital's emergency room.

According to the police report, Muhammed suffered facial lacerations and complained of a broken leg.

Young's passenger was St. Clair County Chief Judge Jan Fiss, 64, who also was set to take an oath of office the next morning after winning retention in the Nov. 7 election.

The two were returning from the St. Louis Rams game when the accident happened at 5:05 p.m., according to the police report.

Young was driving a 2005 GMC Yukon.

According to the police report, Young was "unstable in his stance, swaying forward and backwards...when the suspect walked to the rear of the vehicle I noted he was staggering side to side in an unbalanced motion," Patrolman Shane Brown wrote in a report.

Brown wrote that Young refused to answer whether he had been drinking.

Young, who ran unopposed in the general election Nov. 7, won a six-year term as a circuit judge. During a ceremony Monday morning, Dec. 4, Fiss told an assembled crowd that Judge Young could not attend the formal ceremony because of a conflict but had just beeen sworn-in to office.

"I smelled a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the suspect and noted he had slurred speech when talking to me," Brown wrote in his report.

The report stated that Fiss was seen emptying a can of Bud Light at the scene of the accident.

"After pouring out the beer, Fiss made several attempts to conceal the can in an inside pocket on the front of his coat before finally sweeping," Patrolman Jeffrey Sheary, who assisted Brown, stated in a supplemental report.

Brown asked Fiss what he did with the beer can.

"Witness #2 (Fiss) stated, 'I was told to get rid of it'," Brown wrote. "I asked witness #2 who told him to get rid of the beer can and he refused to answer my question. I then asked him where he disposed of it and he stated, 'along the road.'"

After refusing a field sobriety test, Young was arrested, handcuffed and taken to police headquarters. He posted a $100 cash bond.

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