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Astute citizen helps nab a drunk driver

Sunday, June 01, 2014   by: Staff


Police were called to assist an astute citizen who called to report a possible impaired driver in the John Street area at approximately 4:36 p.m. Saturday. 
The citizen called 911 after observing a vehicle swerve all over all over John Street and run red lights southbound turning onto Cathcart Street. 
The citizen followed the driver until police could intercept him. 
Harold Wardell, age 69, of Cathcart St. has been charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and having over the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.
He will appear in court on 30 June 2014.

If you have any information regarding these crimes, or any other crime, call Crime Stoppers at 705-942-7867 or 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS)

Submit an e-tip from the Crime Stoppers’ website at or text keyword SSM with your tip to 274637.

Text STOP to 274637 to cancel. Text HELP to 274637 for help.

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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Mr. Poster 6/1/2014 10:09:17 AM Report

Good work Mr. citizen.
Rex2011 6/1/2014 10:20:27 AM Report

bet the citizen didn't pull over to make that call, just as bad.
Wicked 6/1/2014 10:24:10 AM Report

HARDLY: just as bad............NOT!
kingzilla 6/1/2014 10:27:38 AM Report

what an idiot. hope it was worth it you clown
crashed13 6/1/2014 10:47:29 AM Report

Even sober 70 year old drivers make me nervous.
Mr. Poster 6/1/2014 10:57:08 AM Report

It is not a matter of age...many 16 year old might make you nervous. It is the ability to drive carefully that is the matter.I know a guy who is a driving instructor and he is over 70....does a great job with new AGE is not the big factor.
tommy_boi07 6/1/2014 11:14:34 AM Report

Rex: are you aware that one of the few exceptions to the distracted driving law is in an emergency or to report a crime? That's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard, this citizen may very we'll have saved a life.
JellyFisch 6/1/2014 12:15:27 PM Report

Rex2011. The law permits citizens to make such emergency calls. They're allowing us to break a law to enforce an even greater issue. I believe this is called "the lesser of two evils".
Hunter101 6/1/2014 2:53:04 PM Report

The comments on here are just mind boggling.

What the guy did by calling the police was perfectly legal.

And age is a huge factor in driving skill. Some seniors can't even turn their head to look behind them. Not to mention slowed reflexes and bad habits learned over the years.
larbear54 6/1/2014 3:45:53 PM Report

Has anyone considered that perhaps the person reporting the erratic driving behavior of the drunk senior citizen may have been using a voice activated hands free device, which are becoming more and more prevalent in vehicles these days? I applaud the responsible person who reported this inebriated driver! Considering the person's age, we can naturally take it that this was not the first time driving drunk, just that he was apprehended.
Just Curious 6/1/2014 7:54:09 PM Report

Hunter 101, can tell you are a young feller.. Wait until you get a few miles on you and your attitude will change. After watching the driving habits of a lot of young people I will take an older, experienced driver any day of the week...
TFinn 6/1/2014 8:01:32 PM Report

Where was it written that the guy calling it in was driving ....maybe he was a passenger and someone else driving or maybe he had hands-free ..?
Anyway a drunk off the road is what counts..!!
Big Deal 6/1/2014 8:08:10 PM Report

Sober older driver's scare me...let alone a drunk one!!! The old driver's are a complete JOKE in this town!!! I see them everyday barley even able to walk to their cars and actually get in a vehicle and drive away!!! They change lanes without even looking!!! I can't even count how MANY times I've had to either speed up or almost completely stop because these old people don't even look to avoid getting hit by one of them!!! I've was even driving behind an elderly person who ACTUALLY drives with her hazards on the whole time!!! Half of them shouldn't even BE ON THE ROAD along with the drunk drivers!!!
eadiecougs 6/1/2014 8:15:56 PM Report

big deal I agree they are dangerous to themselves and others.
Wicked 6/1/2014 9:48:30 PM Report

Report the seniors for dangerous driving?
MYPOINT 6/1/2014 9:49:02 PM Report

In response to those who think 'age' has anything to do with driving. Age has absolutely NOTHING to do with how a person drives per se. Although it is true that older drivers do sometimes cause you a tiny inconvenience because they actually obey speed limits, are conscious of the fact that they are a bit older than some and therefore their reflexes are not as quick as they used to be so they try to keep some space between them and the vehicle in front of them and a variety of other safe driving habits.

We all know that drinking and driving is done by many people of different ages so to use age as an excuse is totally missing the point altogether. The fact that the guy was drinking and driving IS the point that should be underscored.

It is also quite legal to use ANY kind of device ( hands free or not ) to inform the police of an imminent danger to others when you observe an obviously impaired person behind the wheel of a vehicle driving down the road.

Personally, I am just glad that nobody was hurt by this drunk driver. I give KUDO's to the citizen who reported this crime in progress.

As always, your views may differ :)
Pakadeva 6/2/2014 8:18:40 AM Report

Senior bashing again???
I had a friend, an elderly lady of 96 when she died, she drove right up till the day she died & was more competent than the majority of drivers in this city. I personally don't mind driving to accomodate a senior, as one commenter mentioned, in most cases they are simply & rightfully, driving the speed limit!!!
TFinn 6/2/2014 10:02:25 AM Report

Big Deal 6/1/2014 8:08:10 PM

Kind of painting all "older " drivers with one paint brush aren’t you ...???
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