Waubeka man charged with launching minivan into house

Driver of vehicle that went airborne, became lodged in house told authorities he had smoked pot earlier

AN OZAUKEE COUNTY Sheriff’s Office photo taken early Thursday, June 28, shows a minivan lodged in the side of a Newburg home about 15 feet off the ground. Authorities say the driver, who has been charged with two felonies, hit a berm and flew into the home.
Ozaukee Press staff

A 35-year-old Waubeka man who authorities say launched his minivan off a berm and embedded it in the side of a house after smoking marijuana last week now faces two felony charges.

Alva P. Richards is charged in Ozaukee County Circuit Court with second-degree recklessly endangering safely and possession of marijuana, second offense.

According to the criminal complaint, the owner of a home on Hawthorne Drive in Newburg called the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office at 3:16 a.m. Thursday, June 28, to report she heard what sounded like a traffic crash, then saw a vehicle lodged in the side of her neighbor’s house about 15 feet off the ground.

A deputy arrived at the house that was struck by the minivan and talked to the owner, who said he was awakened by the crash. The deputy noticed that the man’s upper body was covered with oil and other auto fluids.

When the deputy checked the minivan, he found Richards, who appeared to be disorientated and under the influence of an intoxicating substance, in the driver’s seat. Eventually Richards tumbled out of the minivan, falling 15 feet to the ground, the complaint states.

Before being taken to a hospital, Richards told the deputy that he smokes marijuana every day but said he couldn’t remember when he last smoked it, according to the compliant.

Later, Richards told the deputy that he has a seizure disorder and takes cannabidiol, or CBD, gummies he orders from Florida, which do not contain the active ingredient in marijuana, the complaint states.

He also told the deputy that he smoked a bowl of marijuana earlier in the day of the accident, according to the complaint.

In Richards’ minivan, authorities found a backpack that contained marijuana and a grinder, the complaint states.

During a June 28 hearing, Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Sandy William set Richards’ bail at $5,000, substantially more than the $1,000 requested by District Attorney Adam Gerol, and ordered him not to operate a motor vehicle or consume controlled substances. Richards posted bail the same day.

Second-degree recklessly endangering safety is punishable by a maximum five years in prison and five years of extended supervision. 

Possession of marijuana is punishable by a maximum 1-1/2 years in prison and two years of extended supervision.










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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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