Traverse City Record-Eagle

Region

October 29, 2013

Omena man arrested for fleeing

TRAVERSE CITY — Authorities charged a 68-year-old man who’d maintained a squeaky clean criminal record since 1977 with two felonies and four misdemeanors after a deputy officer caught him driving erratically on U.S. 31.

A traffic stop on a vehicle driven by John Boden Smart revealed an open container of alcohol and marijuana, authorities said.

Smart, who lives in the Leelanau County community of Omena, was released on a personal recognizance bond of $10,000. He faces up to five years in jail.

Smart would not comment when contacted at home by the Record-Eagle.

A Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputy responded to a call that said a potential drunken driver left the Apache Trout Grill on Oct. 22.

The officer first saw Smart making improper lane changes, according to a police report. When the officer turned on his siren, Smart continued south on U.S. 31, hit another vehicle, but kept going.

Smart eventually stopped near Rennie School Road. He refused to comply with the deputy and had to be physically removed from his car, according to reports. Smart’s speech was slurred and nearly incomprehensible, and Smart didn’t realize he had hit another car, according to the report.

No one reported injuries, Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Robert Cooney said.

Deputies found a plastic cup containing what they thought was whiskey in Smart’s vehicle. They also found a marijuana cigarette in Smart’s front pocket.

Smart was charged with third-degree fleeing from a police officer, resisting a police officer, operating while intoxicated, possession of a controlled substance, open container in vehicle and failure to stop after a collision.

Police found only one prior arrest on Smart’s record: a charge of marijuana possession in 1977 in Los Angeles.

Smart was arraigned on Oct. 25 and is scheduled for a preliminary examination on Nov. 8.

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