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Kentucky man faces fifth OWI charge

From the COLLECTION: Multiple OWI cases reported in recent weeks series
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Jesse A. Mondragon

Jesse A. Mondragon

A 53-year-old Burlington, Kentucky, man faces a drunk driving charge in his fourth different state after being charged Friday in La Crosse County Circuit Court. Jesse A. Mondragon faces a single felony charge of fifth-offense drunk driving.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called to an April 22 disturbance at Candlewood Suites in La Crosse. A witness told police he saw Mondragon sleeping in the driver’s seat of a running vehicle and became concerned for his welfare. The witness said he knocked on the passenger-side window and that Mondragon became angry and threw a bottle at him. The witness wasn’t hit with the bottle, which police later recovered.

When police arrived, Mondragon was still behind the wheel sleeping with the vehicle running. Police knocked on the door, woke him up and detected the odor of alcohol coming from his breath. The complaint says Mondragon also had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes.

Mondragon reportedly told police he drank two beers while inside his vehicle but claimed he wasn’t driving. He agreed to a field sobriety test, and the complaint says he showed multiple clues of intoxication, including failure to correctly recite the alphabet.

Mondragon agreed to a preliminary breath test, which recorded a blood-alcohol level of .169.

The complaint says Mondragon has two previous drunk driving convictions in California, one in Kansas and one in Kentucky.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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