ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) - A juror who served during the trial of Dr. James Corasanti is facing his second DWI charge this year.
John Jankowiak, Jr. was last arrested in April for DWI, when he crashed his vehicle until a utility pole and then fled the scene.
When that case went to trial, District Attorney Frank Sedita felt there was enough evidence to convict Jankowiak, even though Jankowiak had refused a breath test. Sedita says the Buffalo man had bloodshot eyes, smelled of alcohol, failed field sobriety tests, and at the police station asked to use the bathroom.
"He urinates on the floor. When confronted about urinating on the floor, he denies urinating on the floor then continues urinating on the floor. That's how drunk this guy was," Sedita said.
But because Janowiak refused a breath test, Sedita believes that was enough for City Court Judge Diane Wray to find Jankowiak not guilty. She acquitted him of DWI and found him guilty of a lesser charge: driving impaired.
Sedita doesn't comprehend that reasoning.
"The people who don't take the test are the ones who know they're going to fail the test," Sedita said.
And Sedita says after Jankowiak was acquitted, the 38-year-old man used the opportunity to celebrate, and later that night was again arrested on drunk driving charges.
Orchard Park Police tell News 4 that Jankowiak was pulled over Saturday around 4 a.m. on the Rt. 219 entrance ramp from Milestrip Road when officers saw him weaving all over the road and failing to signal. Jankowiak was subsequently arrested and charged with DWI. He again refused a breath test.
Sedita says he is afraid the lesson here is that if you refuse a breath test, you can get out of a DWI charge.
"There are some judges, no matter what the proof is, no matter how bad the accident is, no matter how many field sobriety tests you fail, no matter if you are literally falling down drunk, no matter whether you are soiling yourself. Doesn't matter how overwhelming the proof is, will never come back with a driving while intoxicated conviction, will only come back with driving while impaired," Sedita said.
The DA believes the solution rests in the hands of citizens. He says judges who are soft on DWI trials should be voted out.
Dr. Corasanti was convicted of misdemeanor DWI in the hit-and-run accident that killed Alix Rice.
There is a hearing Thursday in Buffalo about the use of medical marijuana. So far 20 states and Washington D.C. allow it.
Common Core, a new wave of educational standards now being implemented across the country, is causing controversy across the nation, and took center stage in Jamestown Wednesday evening.
In an effort to combat childhood obesity, a local school district is now banning a popular sweet treat.
BJ's Wholesale Club put out an advertisement offering a full week of Black Friday bargains, including deep discounts on big screen TVs that would save customers hundreds of dollars.
New York State Police released the included surveillance photos after a theft that happened on November 24th, around 6:30 a.m.
This year, some local students are getting out their pens and paper to make sure other children have a happy holiday this year.