Friday, July 06, 2007

Grand Old Police Blotter: Hoosier Daddy's Boy Edition

I have a fair amount of understanding for the plight of teens who encounter the police while intoxicated or occupying a vehicle in which dope is hidden. And not all of us at that age have the ability to keep our heads about us and avoid detection and/or punishment. But I don't understand the arrogance of some who see persecution in such mundane events.

Take one David Wichlinski, the future of the Grand Old Party:

David Wichlinski, the 18-year-old Porter Township Board member, was silent Monday, less than 24 hours after his arrest for underage drinking and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wichlinski was taken into custody about 8 p.m. Sunday by Valparaiso police after he and a friend were stopped near the McDonald's restaurant on Calumet Avenue in Valparaiso.

It's the third time in four months Wichlinski, a recent Boone Grove High School graduate and son of former Porter Township Trustee Robert Wichlinski, has had a brush with the law.

David Wichlinski avoided charges in February after he was accused of giving the middle finger to two police officers and again in April when police found a marijuana seed in his truck.

On Sunday, police were called to the McDonald's restaurant after receiving a complaint of an intoxicated driver at the restaurant's drive-through.

Police arrived and noticed a red Ford Mustang as it reversed into the restaurant parking lot and parked in a handicap parking spot.

Police stopped and talked with the driver, Ryan Kubal, 20, of Valparaiso, but David Wichlinski exited the vehicle and walked away. According to the police report, Wichlinski ignored requests to stop and acted as if he were talking on a cell phone.

Wichlinski crossed Calumet Avenue and police attempted to stop him at the Arby's restaurant, where police said he was stumbling in circles, before finally stopping him in the Premier Grill parking lot.

Wichlinski then asked the police officer why he was being stopped. The officer said he immediately smelled alcohol on Wichlinski's breath and asked him why he didn't stop, but received no answer.

Wichlinski denied drinking, but a portable breath test registered 0.050 percent.


Police searched Kubal's vehicle and found a glass smoking pipe in the glove compartment with residue of what police said smelled like burnt marijuana. Kubal told police it belonged to Wichlinski. Kubal also told police that Wichlinski had been drinking beer at a graduation party.


Wichlinski, a Republican, was elected to the Porter Township Board in November and was touted as one of the youngest, if not the youngest, elected officials in the state.

So far, no problem. Just party smarter. But young Master Davey isn't just any spotty-faced three-time loser; he's a victim. Upon resigning from his Board seat a day after the story broke, Davey stated:

I apologize to everyone whom I have disappointed and embarrassed including my family, friends, the Republican Party, our Township Board and the citizens of Porter Township.

I think it's fair to say that the press went a little hard on me, but that goes with the territory. I clearly was not prepared for such merciless scrutiny, but I guess I should have expected it given my age and my last name.

As far as I can tell from Google News, the story quoted above is the only "merciless scrutiny" that Davey's bust got before his resignation -- and it's a straightforward recounting of the arresting officer's allegations (likely taken directly from the arrest report), along with a recitation of Davey's failure to respond to requests for his comment. Davey's delusions of importance, and sense of persecution, are quite advanced for a whiny little drunk and (alleged) pothead with a do-nothing political job.

But Davey's daddy's sense of injury is even loftier. Says Robert Wichlinski:

It's apparently true that, 'people are more interested in reading about and believing the bad stuff.' Not once did anyone mention what a fine job David was doing on the Township Board, or that he graduated with honors from Boone Grove and was inducted into the academic Hall of Fame ... not even once. How disappointing is that?

Democracy in America remains an experiment; this is simply one test that did not yield positive results, but it should in no way diminish our resolve to improve and continue to innovate.

Don't worry. I'm sure Davey's tests by his probation officer will yield positive results. And we won't let your punk kid's inept partying destroy our faith in democracy.

Not even once.

How disappointing is that, Bob?

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