Mexico man jailed on drunken driving charges after crash injures two

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RUMFORD — A Peru man remained behind bars Tuesday night in Paris on several charges stemming from a car accident early Monday evening.

Jason M. Jonitis, 27, is charged with operating under the influence, disorderly conduct, driving to endanger, improper passing, and two counts of terrorizing, Rumford police Sgt. Douglas Maifeld said Tuesday afternoon. He is expected to have his first court appearance Wednesday in Paris.

A seventh charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle is pending completion of a statement by Jonitis’ friend who owns the 2003 Volkswagen Jetta that Jonitis totaled, Maifeld said. None of the charges are felonies.

Maifeld said the incident began at 5:23 p.m. Monday when police and emergency responders were sent to an accident on South Rumford Road.

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“Alcohol was involved,” he said.

He said Jonitis was driving west when he tried to pass another car on a curve at the intersection with Big Rock Road. Jonitis lost control of the Jetta, which went into woods and hit a tree, Maifeld said.

An emergency medical technician from Bethel came upon the scene and radioed that the driver had head lacerations and his passenger, Mckayla McCrum, 21, of Manchester, N.H., had a severe hand injury.

Maifeld said Med-Care Ambulance took both to Rumford Hospital, where Jonitis was treated and released while Mccrum was still being treated.

Maifeld followed the ambulance to the hospital where a blood-alcohol test done on Jonitis.

While at the hospital, Jonitis repeatedly used “vulgar language” and was belligerent, resulting in a charge of disorderly conduct.

“He was drunk and being uncooperative,” Maifeld said.

When Rumford Sgt. James Bernard and officer Matthew Desroches were trying to put Jonitis into a police cruiser to take him to Oxford County Jail in Paris, Maifeld said Jonitis threatened to harm Bernard’s and Desroches’ families. Both officers filed terrorizing charges against Jonitis.

Rumford firefighters also assisted at the scene. M/T Pockets of Dixfield towed the Jetta.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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