SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 2, 2012

Child thwarts excuse in drunken-driving arrest

SALEM — A Salem woman’s attempt to cover for her boyfriend’s alleged drunken driving on Halloween night was thwarted by the couple’s 7-year-old daughter, police said.

It all started when Adam Wetson, 31, of 13 Liberty Hill Ave., Salem, began spinning his truck tires, creating what witnesses described as a “smoke show,” first on Derby Street and then near the intersection of Norman and Crombie streets just after 9 p.m., according to police.

When police approached, Wetson was allegedly uncooperative, ignoring several orders to pull over from a Manchester-by-the-Sea officer who was assisting Salem police with the crowds downtown.

Then, after he finally stopped, police said, Wetson hopped out of the truck, ignoring the officer’s order to stay in the vehicle and leading the officer to attempt to put him in handcuffs.

A struggle ensued, during which Wetson used profanities and insisted that the witnesses who saw spinning tires were wrong, police said.

Officers who said they smelled alcohol on Wetson’s breath suspected him of driving drunk.

They noticed two 23.5-ounce cans of Smirnoff Ice, one, fruit punch-flavored, at the feet of Wetson’s girlfriend, and the other, watermelon-flavored, just outside the driver’s-side door.

A groggy woman, who police also believe was drunk, told officers that both cans were hers, police said.

“No, Mom, that’s Daddy’s can,” the little girl in the back seat corrected her, according to police. “Yours was the fruit punch.”

Wetson was arraigned yesterday on charges of second-offense drunken driving, child endangerment, resisting arrest and improper operation of a motor vehicle.

He was ordered held on $1,000 cash bail by Judge Michael Brooks.

The father of Wetson’s girlfriend arrived to take her and the child home after Wetson’s arrest, police said.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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