Last month, Auburn police said Michael J. DeMarco Jr. fled from a sobriety checkpoint in the city, hitting another car and injuring a mother and child inside. Now, DeMarco is facing additional charges, as police said new evidence shows he was drunk and high at the time of the crash.
At around 10 p.m. Sept. 1, DeMarco had initially stopped at a sobriety checkpoint on Arterial West and Fulton Street in Auburn, police said. However, following a brief conversation with an officer, DeMarco allegedly drove away, leading police on a short chase.
That chase ended when DeMarco hit another car at the intersection of Grant Avenue and Seymour Street. DeMarco suffered a head injury and was transported to Upstate University Hospital while the passengers of the other car — 26-year-old Jene Smith and her 6-year-old son — were taken to Auburn Community Hospital.
Auburn Deputy Chief of Police Roger Anthony said Smith was in the hospital until Sept. 4 with a leg injury. Her son was treated for minor injuries.
DeMarco, of 172 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles, was initially charged with second-degree fleeing a police officer, a felony, and reckless driving, a misdemeanor. On Tuesday, the Auburn Police Department added three more charges after receiving results from toxicology.
According to Anthony, the 39-year-old had a blood alcohol content of .15 percent. There was also THC in his system, which forms in the body after marijuana is consumed.
As a result, DeMarco was charged with driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired by drugs and alcohol, both misdemeanors. He was also charged with aggravated vehicular assault, a class C felony, due to a prior DWAI conviction from May 2016.
Cayuga County Assistant District Attorney Diane Adsit said DeMarco was released on his own recognizance as he was still suffering from his head injury. She said he has been cooperative throughout the investigation.
DeMarco hired Syracuse attorney Michael Spano in his defense. He was arraigned on the new charges Tuesday and is scheduled to appear in court again next month. If convicted, DeMarco could face up to 15 years in prison.