Police: Dover Twp. man drove drunk with child in his car

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
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A Dover Township man had his 9-year-old daughter in his car when he drove drunk last week, police allege.

Richard George Russell, 39, of the 1900 block of Aldon Drive, is free on $2,500 unsecured bail, charged with the misdemeanors of child endangerment and driving under the influence, and the summary offense of disregarding a traffic lane, court records state.

According to charging documents filed by Northern York County Regional Police, Russell was pulled over about 9:40 p.m. Oct. 30 after another motorist called 911 to report seeing the car Russell was driving swerving and crossing the double-yellow center line on West Canal Road at Salmon Run Road in Dover Township.

The caller said he believed the driver was intoxicated, police said.

Officers responded and also saw Russell's Nissan Altima crossing the center line, documents state. They pulled him over at Park and South Main streets in Dover Borough, police said.

Russell told officers he had "a couple beers" at his friend's house and was on his way home with his 9-year-old daughter, who was in the back seat, according to charging documents.

Slurring words? Police said he was slurring his words, smelled of alcohol and had trouble keeping his balance after getting out of his car, documents state.

Richard George Russell

Russell agreed to do field sobriety tests and performed poorly on all of them, police allege.

Officers arrested him at the scene just after 10 p.m. on suspicion of drunken driving, documents state.

Russell's ex-wife came to the scene and picked up their daughter, police said.

Russell later refused to submit to a blood test to determine his blood-alcohol content but declined to sign the refusal form, charging documents allege.

"He admitted that he should not have drank alcohol before driving his 9 year-old daughter home, but did not believe he was under the influence," documents state.

In Pennsylvania, a driver who refuses to submit to blood testing when there is probable cause for it can receive an automatic one-year suspension of their driver's license.

Russell could not be reached for comment. It's unclear if he has hired an attorney. 

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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