SEVEN HILLS, Ohio (WJW) — A local city councilman is due back in court later this month to faces drunk driving charges. Police say he destroyed several mailboxes before officers pulled him over and arrested him.
Seven Hills police pulled over a white Ford Expedition on Aug. 23 after reports that it had destroyed several mailboxes and almost hit a woman on McCreary Road just before 9 a.m. Although the incident happened weeks ago, dashboard camera video of the incident was just released to the media this week.
“You can stay in the car. We’re just gonna roll the window down, OK?” says the officer.
Police said the person behind the wheel was 63-year old John Kulju, a councilperson-at-large in the city of Seven Hills. According to police, officers smelled alcohol and said the councilman appeared confused and answered questions differently each time he was asked.
“How much have you had to drink today?” asks the officer.
“A lot,” responds Kulju, who tells the officer he had two shots of whiskey.
“Just two? OK, we both know that’s a lie. You’ve had more than two, right?” responds the officer.
Police say the front of Kulju’s SUV was damaged and dragging debris along the roadway when officers stopped him.
“You don’t remember hitting any mailboxes or anything?” the officer asks.
“No,” responds the councilman.
“The damage on the front of your car — what’s that from?” the officer asks.
“I don’t know,” says Kulju.
Officers perform several field sobriety tests, where the councilman appears unsteady on his feet.
“Place your hands behinds your back. You’re being arrested for OVI,” says the officer while placing Kulju in handcuffs.
Officers drove Kulju back to the police station, where they said his blood-alcohol content registered at 0.264, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08. He was charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, having a blood-alcohol content over 0.17 and failure to control.
Kulju posted 10% of a $5,000 bond and was released with a court date.
His next court date is Oct. 17 at 9:00 a.m. in Parma Municipal Court.
We reached out to the councilman for comment, but have not heard back from him.