Ottumwa Man Charged In Alleged Drunk Hit And Run


An Ottumwa man has been charged with numerous offenses from an alleged hit and run incident.

Incident reports state that around 7:51 p.m. on March 14, members of the Ottumwa Police Department responded to a call of a hit and run near South Madison Ave. The alleged driver, 20 year old Niam De Jesus Bethancourt had left the area before the officers arrived. The report states that Bethancourt was located in a nearby alleyway. Officers attempted to take him into custody, where he allegedly resisted verbal commands as well as attempting to get away from the officers.

Bethancourt allegedly displayed slurred speech and had the odor of alcohol on his breath. The report claims that Bethancourt admitted to being the driver of the vehicle and consented to a field sobriety test, which he failed. A breath test showed his BAC was above 0.169%.

Bethancourt has been charged with Operating Under The Influence 1st Offense, Public Intoxication, Person’s Under Legal Age, Interference With Official Acts, Driving While Revoked, and Assault On Persons In Certain Occupations. He also faces numerous traffic offenses, most notably Striking Fixtures. Bethancourt was taken to the Wapello County Jail and was released on bond on March 16. A preliminary hearing is set for March 22.

As a reminder, a criminal charge is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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