An off duty Chicago Police Officer called 9-1-1 in Oak Lawn last month to report a disturbance at 111th and Keeler.
Oak Lawn Police arrived at the scene to find a red Toyota Corolla parked sideways in the curb lane of 111th Street, according to the police. The police noted that the driver was still in the vehicle.
The off duty Chicago Police Officer, who was not identified, approached the Oak Lawn officer to provide the reason for the call. According to the Chicago Police officer, she was driving on 111th street while the driver of the Toyota was stopped at the intersection of 111th and Keeler. The officer claimed that she saw the Toyota back up into 111th Street in a manner that made it appear it was traveling east bound in the west bound lane of 111th Street. When the Toyota stopped it was blocking all traffic in the curb lane.
The Chicago officer told Oak Lawn Police that she feared that the driver may have been suffering from a medical condition and therefore she left her own car and ran to the Toyota to check on the driver. Instead of a medical condition, she claims that she found an open bottle of alcohol in the Toyota. She took the keys out of the ignition because the driver was allegedly attempting to place the car in drive.
When the Oak Lawn Police approached the driver of the Toyota, the officer reported that the driver, identified as Gordon Mertes, appeared to be sleeping and drool had escaped during his slumber. After waking Mertes, the officer alleged that a strong alcohol odor was coming from Mertes and his now opened eyes were bloodshot. The officer also confirmed that an open but empty bottle of Jack Daniels was on the passenger seat.
The officer alleged that Mertes had trouble standing when asked to exit the vehicle and he appeared to have urinated on himself. The officer believed that Mertes may need medical assistance and called upon the Oak Lawn Fire Department.
A check of Mertes license revealed that it was previously suspended according to the report. Mertes was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center while his car was towed. At the hospital, the blood alcohol serum level was .436 according to the police. Mertes allegedly admitted to drinking earlier in the day but could not remember anyone taking the keys out of the ignition or why he was parked on 111th Street.
Mertes was placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on suspended license, and improperly stopping on a roadway. In his interview with police, Mertes allegedly admitted drinking the whole bottle of Jack Daniels and in an understatement of the year admitted to having “really f…ed up”.
During the investigation, Mertes record indicated that he had five previous DUI charges. The Cook County State’s Attorney approved felony charges of aggravated driving under the influence, a class X felony carrying a minimum prison sentence of six years.
Mertes, a 65 year old white male, provided an Oak Lawn address.
Oak Lawn police officers and other officers throughout the State of Illinois will be watching for drunk drivers during the holiday and the weekend.