Friday, July 07, 2006

Dude flys plane drunk, & drives car drunk

A man was arrested twice in one day on alcohol-related charges, for illegally operating an airplane that veered off a runway and later for driving his pickup while drunk.

Roger Backen, 60, of Crosby, also faces a charge of fleeing an officer, Divide County Sheriff Lauren Throntveit said.

Backen is a U.S. Customs, Immigration and Border Protection agent who works at the Fortuna border crossing, Throntveit said. An agent at the crossing referred questions to Mary Delaquis, director of the Pembina border crossing station, who was out of state and unavailable for comment Thursday.

Backen's single-engine private plane veered off the Crosby airport runway and into a seeded field on Sunday afternoon, Throntveit said.

"He said his throttle got stuck when he was operating it, and he lost control," Throntveit said. "It never got off the ground."

Throntveit said Backen had been drinking, and was charged with operating a plane within eight hours of (alcohol) consumption, a Class A misdemeanor.

"He was arrested for that and then released on a $1,000 promise to appear," Throntveit said. "He was released at 3 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., he went to pick up his pickup at the airport. He tried to elude me."

Backen was then arrested for drunken driving and fleeing an officer, both misdemeanors. He was taken into custody at the Williams County jail and released on a $2,500 bond, the sheriff said. Article here.

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