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Soldotna skate park crasher gets 2 months in jail

Posted: Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Kenai man accused of crashing his vehicle into the Soldotna Skateboard Park in May pleaded “no contest” to lesser charges on Friday and will be spending about two months behind bars.

Brian McCoy, 23, was arrested after he allegedly drove his 1997 Jeep Wrangler into the fence around the skateboard park, causing between $3,000 and $4,000 in damage.

As police responded to a report of the incident, McCoy reportedly sped away.

Soldotna Police and Alaska State Troopers converged on the area and McCoy eventually stopped in the parking lot of the King Salmon restaurant.

Police Officer Mark Berestoff got out of his police car, drew his gun and ordered the driver to shut off his vehicle. At the same time, he saw four males jump from the passenger side of the Jeep just as the state trooper sergeant arrived on scene.

The trooper took control of the four juvenile males and Berestoff handcuffed the driver, McCoy.

According to a police report, several bottles of vodka were seen inside the Jeep and McCoy performed poorly on field sobriety tests. A breath test showed his blood-alcohol level to be more than twice the legal limit.

McCoy was arrested for driving under the influence and failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer, and was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

During further questioning, McCoy reportedly told police he bought vodka for the four juveniles, ages 14, 15, 16 and 17, and drove around with them while they drank it.

He was charged further with furnishing alcohol to persons under 21 and a probation violation.

After police received a report of vandalism at the skateboard park, they questioned the teens, who said McCoy had dropped off the four at the park and went to the Tesoro2Go gas station.

When he returned, he gunned the engine and ran into the fence at least two times. The youths ran to him and told him to stop. Then they all got in the vehicle with him and he backed up and intentionally drove into the fence again.

McCoy was charged additionally with third-degree criminal mischief.

On Friday, McCoy admitted to eluding police, driving under the influence, furnishing alcohol to minors and drinking to the level of intoxication — in violation of probation. Three years ago, he had pleaded “no contest” to a second-degree burglary charge.

In exchange for a 14-month jail sentence with 12 months suspended, McCoy pleaded “no contest” Friday to reduced charges of second-degree failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer, driving under the influence, fourth-degree criminal mischief and one of two counts of furnishing alcohol to persons under 21.

He will also be placed on probation for three years.

Pending the information disclosed in a letter update from McCoy’s probation officer, he is to be sentenced in March to spend two months in jail.

Superior Court Judge Harold Brown requested a letter update rather than a more extensive pre-sentencing report.

Brown ordered that while on probation, McCoy is not to violate any laws; must report to the Alcohol Safety Action Program, ASAP, and follow all their recommendations; must pay fines and restitution; and his driver’s license will be revoked for 90 days for driving under the influence and 30 days for eluding police.

McCoy expected to be jailed Friday, but Assistant District Attorney Scot Leaders and Brown agreed on the need for the letter from adult probations, and set sentencing for March 23.

“You will be remanded on that day,” Brown said.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@ peninsulaclarion.com.



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