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By Matthew Saari

Granville police had their hands full during the closing days of July, arresting three local men and charging them with driving while intoxicated.

“It was just about 24 hours,” Granville Sgt. Ryan Pedone said. “It was busy – well above average.”

The trio of arrests, which occurred over a span of 25 hours, began Thursday, July 23, just before midnight, with police receiving a report of a car spinning around in the parking lot of the former Manchester Wood property.

Police said officers surveilled the property from Cosey Fuel, located on North Street. While there, the suspect vehicle passed officers, traveling north. A traffic stop was attempted due to one headlight being dim and the car not having a rear license plate lamp.

Even after turning the lights and siren on the car did not stop, police said, only coming to a halt after turning into the driveway of a County Route 24 home.

The driver, Gregory R. Skaczkowski, 30, of Granville, was made to perform several field sobriety tests, which police said he failed. After refusing to provide a breath sample, Skaczkowski was told he was under arrest, to which he simply said “no” and refused to allow police to handcuff him.

After a brief struggle, police said, Skaczkowski was handcuffed and placed in the police car, complaining officers had assaulted him and he now knows why police are killed. Police noted his lip was bleeding but Skaczkowski refused EMS treatment.

Police said Skaczkowski attempted to get the charges dropped, alleging officers used excessive force while arresting him, as evidenced by his bleeding lip. Pedone denied these allegations.

“Minimal force was used,” said Pedone.

A breath test conducted at the Granville police station revealed Skaczkowski’s blood alcohol content to be .13%. The state legal limit for driving is .08%.

For his midnight drive, Skaczkowski faces a slew of charges including two felonies and four misdemeanors. He was charged with felony counts of driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and the following misdemeanors: resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration, DWI, operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or greater. Lastly, he was ticketed for having inadequate lights on his vehicle.

Police explained that the DWI and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicles charges were upgraded to felonies because records indicate Skaczkowski had two driving while ability impaired by drugs convictions and suspensions on his license.

While processing Skaczkowski, police were called to a hit-and-run accident on Church Street. The caller alleged that Bryton Ellison, 22, of Granville had sideswiped his car. Due to processing Skaczkowski, Pedone said Washington County Sheriff deputies were asked to locate Ellison and detain him until village police could arrive.

Ellison was found and stopped on North Street and his vehicle, police said, had damage consistent with the reported hit-and-run accident. Ellison confirmed he had been drinking Smirnoff Ice and had hit the car, saying “the kid parks like a (expletive) retard.”

As Ellison was getting out of the car to perform field sobriety tests, police said two empty bottles of Johnny Bootlegger fell out.

After failing field tests, Ellison was arrested and charged with aggravated DWI, operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or greater and DWI, all misdemeanors, and was ticketed for leaving the scene of an accident. A breath test at the police station indicated Ellison’s BAC to be .18%, more than double the state legal limit.

While Skaczkowski and Ellison were in the station being processed, police said, Skaczkowski began antagonizing Ellison in a bid to fight him.

“(Skaczkowski) made some comment about the other suspect’s hair, trying to incite a fight,” Pedone said.

The third arrest came just before 1 a.m. Saturday, July 25, after police saw a truck turn down River Street towards the Slate Valley Museum.

Officials said officers observed the truck parked behind a River Street home, engine still running. When officers approached, they found the driver, Charles H. Goodspeed, 45, of Granville, slumped over the center console, which sported an open bottle of alcohol.

“He was out, it took us awhile to wake him up,” Pedone said.

After waking up Goodspeed, police attempted to conduct field sobriety tests but Goodspeed became defensive and argumentative, saying he wasn’t driving and had been parked at the spot for more than an hour.

“He said he was on his mom’s lawn and there wasn’t anything we could do,” said Pedone.

Goodspeed was arrested and charged with DWI and operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or greater, both misdemeanors. A breath test conducted at the Granville police station indicated his BAC to be .14%.

Pedone and officer Ronald Taylor handled all three arrests.

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