Man gets two years in jail for driving stolen tow truck while drunk - The Buffalo News

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Man gets two years in jail for driving stolen tow truck while drunk

A police chase through the city’s Elmwood-Forest area last summer led to a jail sentence Friday for a Town of Tonawanda man who was driving drunk in a stolen tow truck with its boom down and swinging back and forth.

State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller sentenced Michael Orth, 29, to two years in the Erie County Correctional Facility. Orth had pleaded guilty Oct. 24 to petit larceny, resisting arrest and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick B. Shanahan said Orth stole a tow truck Aug. 23 in the Town of Tonawanda, then drove it to Buffalo, where officers at Elmwood and Forest avenues noticed the truck and the swinging boom.

When they tried to pull the vehicle over, Orth drove off, leading police on a slow chase through the S curves on Delaware Avenue, Shanahan said. Police eventually stopped the truck at the entrance to the Scajaquada Expressway, where Orth fought with officers, the prosecutor said.

After Orth pleaded guilty in October, the judge released him on his own recognizance and ordered him to report to the Veterans Court in Buffalo for its substance abuse treatment program, but the Veterans Court has no record of him showing up for the program, Shanahan said.

He said Orth was arrested about a week later in the Town of Tonawanda after police said he stole a car and pulled it into a gas station at Military Road and Sheridan Drive, where he crashed into a gas pump while doing figure eights.

He pleaded guilty in Tonawanda Town Court to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and criminal mischief, and is awaiting sentencing there.

Meanwhile, Boller revoked his bail in the tow truck case and scheduled him for sentencing.

At Friday’s sentencing, Shanahan told the judge records show that while Orth served in the military, he received an other than honorable discharge.

The judge agreed with Shanahan that Orth didn’t deserve any more breaks and sentenced him to one year in jail for petit larceny and one year for resisting arrest, with the sentences to run consecutively.

He also placed him on three years’ probation for DWI, fined him $500 and revoked his driver’s license for six months.


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