Quechee man arrested after disturbance at pool
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | March 31,2014
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A Quechee man accused of causing a disturbance and scuffling with police at a swimming pool Thursday evening received a stern warning from a judge when he showed up drunk for his court appearance Friday afternoon.
David Mounkes, 28, appeared alternately confused and bemused Friday as he watched from the defense table in the criminal courthouse in White River Junction while a public defender attempted to enter innocent pleas on his behalf to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Judge Karen Carroll called a halt to the arraignment and ordered Mounkes to stand up and take a breath test right in the courtroom in order to determine whether he was in any condition to understand the proceedings.
Mounkes willingly blew into an Alco-Sensor device administered by Windsor County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Robert North who took it up to the bench and showed Carroll the digital 0.19 percent blood-alcohol readout on the screen — a number that would be over twice the legal limit for driving in Vermont.
After seeing the high number, Carroll told Mounkes his arraignment was off until this afternoon, adding, “You are to come back here with no alcohol in your system or I will find you in contempt of court. Do you understand that?”
“I gotta be sober when I come,” Mounkes replied.
“You need to have no alcohol in your system,” Carroll emphasized, adding, “I reserve the right to have you take an alcohol test on Monday as well and what I’m telling you is that if you show up with alcohol in your system…”
“I’m going to jail!,” Mounkes interjected.
“That is called ‘summary contempt’ and the court can jail you for up to six months,” Carroll emphasized, “Do you understand that?”
“Six months?,” Mounkes responded in a shocked whisper.
“Yep. Six months. So go to the clerk’s office and get your hearing notice and come here Monday with no alcohol in your system,” Carroll reiterated.
Officer Aleya Leombruno said she and two other Hartford police officers responded to the Upper Valley Aquatic Center on Thursday evening after they were called about an apparently intoxicated male who was bothering other swimmers and a female lifeguard and refusing to get out of the pool.
Lifeguard Erin Renniger wrote in a sworn statement that she noticed Mounkes, who was swimming with at least one other friend, having apparent difficulty getting out of the pool and sitting on the edge and giggling for periods of time so she went over to see if he was all right. Renniger wrote that Mounkes was rude to her, was stumbling at times and smelled of alcohol to the point that she was concerned about his safety.
Leombruno said Mounkes was uncooperative once police arrived and refused to give his name or answer questions, saying he wanted a lawyer and “waving his hands inches from Officer (Jon) Kustafik’s face’’ before allegedly swearing at him. Leombruno said when police attempted to arrest Mounkes he pulled away and was “brought to the ground where he continued to resist being placed in handcuffs.”
“He continued to yell and make unintelligible noises while he was being led out of the pool area,” Leombruno wrote, adding that he then, “attempted to kick Officer Kustafik twice at which point Mounkes was brought to the ground (again).”
Mounkes sustained scrapes to his face and shoulder during his arrest but refused medical treatment back at the police station, Leombruno added.