Officer Troy Fields is being credited with the arrest of an allegedly dangerously drunk and unlicensed driver.
The officer, who was driving south bound on First Avenue near Cermak Road last Saturday, spotted a car ahead of him “driving all over the road and into oncoming traffic.” Fields flashed his headlights at the oncoming traffic to warn other drivers and called 911. He then stayed with the car until police caught up with it.
Pawel Karpie, 24, was then pulled and given field sobriety tests which he allegedly failed. He was also found to never have been issued an Illinois driver’s license and driving without insurance. Breathalyzer test also showed his blood alcohol level to be more than twice the legal limit at .174.
The Cook County States Attorney’s office approved Class 4 felony charges based on the “Michael Gordon Law” that ensures that unlicensed, uninsured, intoxicated motorists face stiffer penalties.
Riverside Chief of Police Tom Weitzel praised Fields Tuesday saying, “lives were surely saved by his quick actions.”
This is not the first time Fields has helped bust an accused felon while off-duty. In July of 2001, Fields saw a television bulletin warning of a woman soliciting rides from other women in the area around Midway Airport. The woman would then rob her benefactors. Fields recognized her from an earlier arrest and contacted the Chicago Police Department, who later arrested and charged her with numerous felonies.
River Forest Administrative Sergeant Mike Thornley said, “we’re very proud of Officer Fields, he takes his role as a police officer very seriously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Off-duty River Forest officer nets Riverside DUI, www.pioneerlocal.com, October 12, 2010