Police: Spletzer abusive at stop

Falls councilwoman to appear in court on driving vehicle under influence charge

NEWTON FALLS — A Newton Falls councilwoman spit and swore at law enforcement and refused a Breathalyzer test, according to a police report of a traffic stop on suspicion of driving while impaired.

Tesa Spletzer, 53, is scheduled to appear 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Newton Falls Municipal Court to face a charge of operating a vehicle under the influence.

Police Chief Gene Fixler said the incident happened 10:50 p.m. Saturday after a patrol officer noticed a GMC SUV driving on the wrong side of the road coming toward him near the intersection of River Street and East Broad Street.

A police report, released Tuesday, indicates the driver jerked the vehicle to the right side of the road to avoid striking the police cruiser. The officer followed the vehicle and noticed the driver showed signs of impairment, the report states.

The officer stopped the vehicle and check the registration, the report states, indicating the vehicle belonged to Spletzer.

When the officer addressed Spletzer, informing her of the reason for the stop, the report states: “Tesa had a blank stare on her face and was not responding to my communications.”

The officer requested assistance from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, but they were not available. A second Newton Falls officer later arrived at the scene.

When the officer asked Spletzer to exit the vehicle, the report states her “movements were slow” and “she exhibited a slight forward-to-backward swaying motion at times.”

Spletzer was “slurring her speech,” and the officer “could detect the smell of an alcoholic beverage,” the report states.

Spletzer stumbled several times and “appeared as if she were in a daze,” the report states.

Police placed Spletzer in handcuffs and was asked to sit inside the cruiser. When she was asked if she wanted her seat belt on, after a long pause she “spit outside the vehicle at our feet exclaiming “Piece of S***!” the report states. She spit at officers’ feet a second time, the report states.

Spletzer refused when she was asked if she wanted to take a sobriety test, the report states.

The councilwoman told officers she was going to walk or jog home, the report states, when they offered to give her a ride home. The report states her response was: “Yeah, whatever.”

After being given appropriate copies of paperwork by police, the report states discussion continued about the ride home and she debated profusely that she was going to walk home. She “spouted ‘boys in blue’ and blew a raspberry,” the report states.

As police were leaving the scene, the report states Spletzer commented: “I hope this wasn’t political.” An officer replied: “I assure you, it is not.”

Messages were left on Spletzer’s phone on Tuesday night seeking comment.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *


Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today