n alderman at the City of Riverside is facing a driving while intoxicated charge pertaining to a December incident in which Riverside police say they found his car wrecked and abandoned in the roadway.
Aaron Thatcher, age 40, a ward two alderman, was arrested by the Riverside Police Department in the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 21. He was taken to Riverside police headquarters where he was booked on the charge. Thatcher posted bond and was released.
Reached by The Landmark this week, Thatcher declined comment, saying: “After the case resolves I will be happy to provide a comment but no comment at this time.”
A police report document indicates a breath sample measured Thatcher’s blood alcohol content at .118. The legal limit for drivers in Missouri is .08.
According to the timeline in the police report, the breath test was administered approximately one hour after police say they had discovered Thatcher’s Chevy Bolt wrecked and abandoned at West Platte and NW Valley in Riverside.
According to court documents, the officer who discovered the vehicle found tire marks on the roadway that appeared to be from the vehicle. The front passenger side wheel was turned sideways and damaged so that it could not be driven. The officer observed through the window of the car a Jameson Whiskey box inside the vehicle on the front passenger floorboard, according to court documents.
After the vehicle had been discovered, another officer reported seeing a white male wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans walking north on NW Gateway Drive from West Platte. A man later identified as Thatcher was found walking north on NW Gateway Drive. Police say Thatcher was asked why he left his vehicle in the middle of the road. Thatcher said it was in a turn lane and he had called AAA for a tow but they could not arrive until 11 a.m.
According to the police report, the officer observed Thatcher’s eyes were watery bloodshot and glassy and the officer could smell the odor of an intoxicating beverage emitting from his breath. The officer told Thatcher the officer believed he drove his vehicle in an intoxicated state and requested Thatcher submit to the standardized field sobriety tests. Thatcher, according to the police report, initially told police he was not driving the vehicle. Thatcher originally told the officer that “a friend” was driving. When the officer asked where the friend was, Thatcher said he did not know, according to the police report. After further questioning, Thatcher said “let me back up” and said he was driving the vehicle, according to the police report.
Thatcher submitted to the field sobriety tests. Based on an odor of intoxicants, glassy eyes, swaying, stumbling, and performance on the field sobriety testing, the officer advised Thatcher that he was under arrest for driving while intoxicated, according to the police report.
Chris Skinrood, police chief for Riverside, said the case was filed in Platte County Circuit Court rather than Riverside Municipal Court “based on the circumstances,” an apparent reference to Thatcher’s position as an alderman for the city.
The misdemeanor charge was filed in Platte County Circuit Court on Feb. 21. Next court hearing in the matter is scheduled for June 10 at 9 a.m. in front of Judge Dennis Eckold.