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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

DUI arrest report on Wigginton indicates former federal prosecutor not able to complete field sobriety tests

By Record News | Jun 2, 2017

A Troy police report detailing the DUI arrest of former U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton, indicates he had almost made it home when he was stopped at around 10 p.m. on May 23.

Patrol officer Bryan Brown, who stopped the former federal prosecutor, wrote that his eyes were red and glassy. 

On a special form for alcohol arrests, Brown marked boxes finding alcohol strong on Wigginton’s breath and obvious in its effect. 

He marked boxes finding that Wigginton’s speech was mumbled, slurred, mush mouthed and thick tongued.    

He marked a box finding that Wigginton’s clothing was disarranged. 

In a box for unusual statements, he wrote, “Stated that he drank a glass of vodka.” 

As for his 2009 Cadillac, Wigginton drove it with a headlight missing, loose parts dragging, and enough damage under the hood to produce smoke and a grinding noise, the report states. 

Wigginton refused to take a breath test, and signed a statement that for his refusal he would lose his license for at least a year. 

He ducked the test but didn’t beat the ticket, for Troy police charged him with driving under the influence of alcohol. 

They also charged him with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving with a missing headlight.

According to police reports, Wigginton drove north on Interstate 55-70, turned right at U.S. Route 40, and lost control. 

When he lost control of his vehicle, his vehicle “traveled approximately 100 yards in the grass, then crashed through a fence,” the report states.

A damage report showed it wiped out 40 feet of fence and five posts.

“The driver then drove out of the ditch and back onto Troy Road and then eastbound Route 40 and continued,” the report states.

Witnesses called police, and a dispatcher sent an officer to the scene. 

Farther east on U.S. 40, near Spring Valley Road, Brown heard the dispatcher’s message while he helped an officer handle a separate crash. 

At that moment Brown saw a Cadillac with one light, eastbound on U.S. 40. 

Brown activated his emergency lights and followed the vehicle southbound onto Troy O’Fallon Road, according to his field report. 

He wrote that the vehicle crossed the yellow line and traveled down the center lane for a short distance. 

He wrote that it made a wide right turn onto Meadowbrooke Street and stopped. 

Wigginton lives on that street. 

Brown wrote that he approached the vehicle and told the driver to put his hands on the steering wheel. 

 He wrote that the driver complied.

“I requested the driver’s license and proof of insurance and he ignored me, looking straight ahead,” the report states. 

Brown wrote that he asked the driver if he lived in the area. 

He wrote that the driver turned and looked at him.

“At this point, I could see that the driver’s eyes were red and glassy in appearance,” he wrote.

Brown wrote that he tried several times to identify the driver, and the driver continued to ignore him.

“I asked if he understood me and he did not respond,” he wrote. 

He wrote that he opened the driver’s door.

“I could see a prescription bill bottle sitting at the driver’s feet,” he wrote.

“I asked Wigginton again for his identification and he replied by saying, you know who I am.

“I informed him that I did not and he added, your boss does.” 

Brown wrote that he asked for a license and Wigginton handed him a wallet. 

He wrote that he asked Wigginton to remove the license, and Wigginton had difficulty taking it out. 

He wrote that after Wigginton removed it, he had difficulty holding on to it.

Wigginton handed it to him, and he asked for proof of insurance.

Brown wrote that Wigginton gave him an expired insurance card.

“While speaking with Wigginton I could hear a grinding noise coming from the vehicle’s engine area,” he wrote.

“Due to the heavy damage on the vehicle, I asked Wigginton to turn off the ignition for safety reasons. 

He wrote that Wigginton agreed and fumbled with the ignition.

“I observed that he was slow to respond to questions and his actions were slow and lethargic,” he wrote. 

He wrote that a sergeant and the officer from the crash scene arrived. 

Brown wrote that he asked Wigginton to exit the vehicle, and his movements were slow and lethargic.

“He had obvious difficulty maintaining his balance and took small shuffled steps while walking to the rear of his vehicle,” he wrote.

“I spoke with him concerning the crash and he stated that he called to report the crash but he left after no one arrived.” 

Brown wrote that he asked Wigginton if he struck any other vehicles or just left the roadway, and Wigginton stated that he went off the road.

“While speaking with him I noticed that his speech was slurred heavily,” he wrote.

“Once out of the vehicle, I smelled a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his mouth.” 

He wrote that he told Wigginton to follow his right index finger with his eyes only.

“During the test, as the stimulus was passing side to side, Wigginton’s eyes were not moving,” he wrote.

“He stated that his eyes were moving with the stimulus but they were straight ahead.” 

He wrote that he stopped the test.

“I attempted to explain the second test, the walk and turn test, to Wigginton, but he stated that he was not able to hear my instructions,” he wrote. 

He wrote that he informed Wigginton that he seemed impaired. 

He wrote that he asked Wigginton if he consumed alcohol with a meal, and he stated he consumed a glass of vodka at dinner with clients. 

Brown wrote that he instructed Wigginton to stand in the starting position he demonstrated for the walk and turn test.

“Wigginton was unable to stand in the starting position,” he wrote. 

Brown wrote that he explained and demonstrated a third test, standing on one leg, and Wigginton stated that he was unable to complete the test. 

Redactions in this section of the report suggest Wigginton raised medical issues. 

A separate report showed police offered an ambulance and he turned it down. 

Brown wrote that the next officer to arrive, Andy Evans, smelled alcoholic beverage from several feet away. 

Brown wrote that he placed Wigginton under arrest, handcuffed him behind his back, and doubled locked the cuffs. 

He wrote that at the Troy police department, at 11:22 p.m., Wigginton refused to complete a breath test. 

He wrote that he read a statement of constitutional rights, and Wigginton advised that he would not answer any questions. 

Troy police set a court date on June 14.   

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Troy Police Department U.S. Department of Justice