Police say suspect's blood-alcohol was three times legal limit
By PAUL GRONDAHL, Staff writer
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
WATERFORD -- A Cambridge High School gym teacher registered a blood-alcohol level of .23 percent, nearly three times the legal limit, after he allegedly refused to stop for a cop, ran into a bridge, jumped a curb at a drugstore and crashed into a pole before verbally assaulting and refusing to unlock his car door for the arresting officer, police said.
But since he had no prior DWI arrests, Michael Proper, 33, was charged with misdemeanor aggravated DWI over .18 percent rather than a felony, said John Tanchak, public safety commissioner of Waterford.
Proper was arrested by Officer Tim Williams on Friday night during a Saratoga County STOP-DWI patrol. Williams followed Proper's Ford sedan after he allegedly drove erratically on Broad Street. The officer turned on his flashing lights and siren, but Proper did not pull over.
Proper next struck the 126th Street Bridge, police said. He then turned into the Rite Aid drugstore parking lot a block away, jumped a curb and came to stop when the front of his car crashed into and rode up a cement barrier pole protecting the drive-through.
When Williams approached Proper, he sat in his car, making an obscene gesture with a finger and yelling an expletive before he finally unlocked the door, police said.
Proper, who lives at 277 Saratoga Ave. in Mechanicville, was also charged with DWI above .08 percent, DWI and failure to keep right after a Breathalyzer test was given. He was released and will be back in court Jan. 7.
Vince Canini, superintendent of the Cambridge school district, would not comment on the personnel matter due to district policy.
Proper appeared to smirk and cock an eyebrow in his mug shot. "Apparently the demeanor he showed the officer at the scene continued when his picture was taken," Tanchak said.
A woman who identified herself as Proper's wife left a message taking issue with Tanchak's characterization. She said the mug shot is Proper's normal facial expression.
Paul Grondahl can be reached at 454-5623 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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