Herb Glidden has been sentenced to community service, eight months after sheriff’s deputies arrested him - in his kitchen - for drunken driving.
“They came right in my house and handcuffed me,” the 66-year-old retired beer distributor fumed recently. “I don’t need a Breathalyzer test in my kitchen.”
On Tuesday, a Benewah County magistrate sentenced Glidden to a $1,000 fine, community service and a four-month suspension of driving privileges. Glidden is appealing his May 2 conviction by a jury.
“I thought surely the jury would acquit me,” he said.
It all began Dec. 2 when Glidden was driving home from a friend’s house. The roads were slick with snow, and his new pickup ended up in a ditch about 10 p.m.
Eight teenage girls were driving by. They knew Glidden and helped him out of his rig. One called police.
“He couldn’t walk straight,” one girl later told deputies.
“He got out, babbled a bit, and started galloping home scared,” said another.
Hogwash, says Glidden, insisting he’d had only one drink. Furious at damaging the new truck, he walked three blocks to his house.
There, he says, he began tossing back whiskey and Coke.
“I’d had one drink - and I had five here,” he said, sitting in his living room. “And I don’t mix little bitty drinks. I mix a drink.”
The case is not as silly as it sounds, said Deputy Prosecutor Doug Payne.
“One way you get arrested for DUI in your kitchen is to blow a stop sign, narrowly miss eight young girls in another vehicle and go in the ditch,” he said.
One fact everyone agrees on: By the time police arrived at Glidden’s house, he was plastered.
“I should’ve just shut the door, but I was pretty screwed up,” he said.
He invited the two deputies inside.
“He was unsteady on his feet, kind of holding onto the door frame,” deputy Dean Salisbury later testified.
The deputies asked Glidden, sitting at his kitchen table, to take a sobriety test.
They handcuffed him and took him to jail. Unaware he was being taperecorded, Glidden launched into a half-hour tirade, cursing and threatening the deputies.
“I called them everything I could think of, and hoped I didn’t leave anything out,” he said.
He says he was bailed out by Benewah County Commissioner Jack Buell, a longtime friend. Buell was traveling Thursday and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Eight months later, Glidden’s still angry at what he called the deputies’ “Gestapo” attitude.
“What did I do wrong?” Glidden said. “Run in the ditch? Who did I hurt? Did they have any right to come into my house and arrest me? I don’t think so.”
A jury, however, found it impossible to believe Glidden got that drunk in 12 minutes. That’s how long the dispatcher’s time cards showed elapsing between the time the girl phoned in the crash and the time Glidden was sitting handcuffed in the sheriff’s booking room.
“His story was incredible,” Deputy Prosecutor Doug Payne said.
Still, he said it was a tough case to win.
“When they flee to their kitchen to avoid being convicted, it’s a difficult case,” he said.
On May 4, Glidden filed a tort claim seeking $100,000 from the county for mental and emotional suffering, distress and loss of his reputation in the community.
On Monday, the county commissioners - including Buell - unanimously rejected the claim.
“We’ll file another claim,” said Glidden. “I’ve never sued anybody in my life, but I want to at least get my attorneys fees back.”
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo
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