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Tomah driver charged with OWI, drugs after police break window with sledgehammer

Tomah driver charged with OWI, drugs after police break window with sledgehammer

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A Tomah man was allegedly found by police in urine stained pants at the exit lane of the interstate, passed out from injecting heroin while driving, requiring police to break his car window with a sledgehammer.

Kelly Larkin, 48, of Tomah, is charged with felony possession of narcotic drugs, and misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle while under the influence – third offense. He faces up to three years and six months in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both, if convicted of the felony charge.

According to the criminal complaint:

At about 10:48 a.m. Dec. 10, Trooper Sou Xiong was dispatched to the westbound exit ramp of I-90/94 at milepost 61 near New Lisbon for a report of an unresponsive driver. Arriving at the scent, Xiong observed a purple sedan parked in the right turn lane of the exit ramp with a truck parked behind.

Approaching the sedan, Xiong observed a male driver, later identified as Kelly Larkin, slumped back in the seat. Larkin did not respond to the officer despite Xiong knocking on the window multiple times, attempting to open the passenger side door, and attempting to open the driver side door.

After attempting to get Larkin to respond, Xiong was joined at the scene by New Lisbon Police Chief Kyle Walker. Both officers attempted to break open the passenger side window with batons, but were unsuccessful. Walker eventually broke the passenger side window by using a sledgehammer.

With the window broken, Larkin woke up. He appeared disoriented, his speech was slurred, and his movements lethargic. Xiong observed a used syringe and syringe caps on the passenger seat.

Walker ordered Larkin to turn off and exit the vehicle. As the driver exited the vehicle, Xiong noticed a fresh urine stain in the groin area of his pants and a dried blood spot on the inside of his right elbow. Larkin required assistance from Xiong in exiting the vehicle, and appeared to have difficulty maintaining his balance.

A search of Larkin’s person did not find anything of value. While speaking with Xiong, Larkin continually fell in and out of sleep. Based on Xiong’s observations, training, experience, and Larkin’s known history, Xiong stated he believed Larkin to be under the influence of heroin.

Larkin was placed in hand restraints and escorted to the back of Xiong’s vehicle, where he received medical attention from paramedics. A search of Larkin’s vehicle located a small bag containing three pieces of a small brown/gray rock like substance, which Xiong suspected was heroin, and two additional syringe needles.

Larkin was transported to the hospital via ambulance, where Xiong read him his rights and asked him to submit to a blood test. Larkin acquiesced to the blood test, but initially refused to answer questions from the Alcohol/Influence Report.

About an hour later, without any additional questioning, Larkin told Xiong “he hated how his life was,” and admitted to needing help. Xiong again informed Larkin of his Miranda rights, and asked if Larkin would answer questions.

Larkin stated he would answer question, and he wanted to “come clean.” He told Xiong the substance located inside the bag in the vehicle was heroin, and he had injected it while driving just before the interstate exit ramp. Larkin told Xiong he makes sure there is an exit ramp nearby when he “uses” while driving.

After medical staff cleared Larkin, Xiong transported him to the Juneau County Jail. A test of the rock substance tested positive for heroin.

Larkin is scheduled for an initial appearance Jan. 8 at the Juneau County Justice Center.

Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.

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