Kevin L. Hoover
ARCATA – A Ferndale man hoping to enjoy a meal at the California Highway Patrol office on Samoa Boulevard not only didn't get his hunger sated, he was jailed on charges of driving under the influence, and may have his parole revoked.
On Thursday, Aug. 26 at about 3 p.m., CHP Officer Craig Barnes was in the parking lot of the CHP station installing a child safety seat for a motorist when his attention was diverted by music blasting from a silver 2002 Pontiac Grand Am driven by Jason Andrew Sabedra, 26, of Ferndale.
Sabedra entered a parking space, but didn't stop in time, drove over a concrete bumper and became temporarily wedged there. In an effort to dislodge the vehicle, he threw the car into reverse and hit the gas, causing his tires to lose traction and “peel out."
This maneuver may have exhausted him, as his car came to rest in the driving lane on the west side of the parking area and remained there for a brief interval. "He sat there for a good 15 seconds, just staring," Barnes said.
Barnes moved the people he'd been helping to a safe location and then directed his attention to Sabedra, who had re-parked and gotten out of the car. Sabedra then walked, after a fashion, over to the officer, but had some difficulty remaining upright.
Along with walking, talking proved another challenge for Sabedra. In slurred, almost unintelligible speech, he asked the officer for food, notifying him he was hungry. "He asked me for a sandwich a few times," Barnes said. "He had that droopy look on his face – mouth droopy, eyes droopy."
When Barnes asked Sabedra if he knew where he was, Sabedra replied with some certainty that he was at a store in McKinleyville. He said he didn't know which store, just that food was sold there.
"He had his medical marijuana with him and said he had just smoked it," Barnes said. The officer asked him when he had last ingested his medicine. "'Within an hour?' 'Yes.' 'Within 10 minutes?' 'Yes.'"
Sabedra was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, violating his probation for being drunk in public and resisting a public officer. He was also on state parole for a narcotics violation and currently has a parole hold pending a revocation hearing. One of the terms of his parole was complete abstinence from alcohol.
"He was mostly cooperative," Barnes said. "He didn't throw up until we got to the jail."