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County Council Candidate Faces New Charges

May 11, 2019

WILKES-BARRE — Free on bail on drunken-driving charges, Luzerne County Council candidate Martin Dartoe had another brush with the law earlier this month when police cited him for public drunkenness.

Officers found Dartoe, 30, to be “heavily intoxicated in public” last Friday and issued him a summary citation for public drunkenness, according to police.

Police say he was detained until he was sober and/or released to a responsible adult.

Court records show he has not yet entered a plea.

Dartoe did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Dartoe, of Wilkes-Barre, is one of seven candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for six available county council seats in the May 21 primary. That same morning, he is due in court for a preliminary hearing to face DUI and fleeing the scene of an accident charges alleging he was involved in a hit-and-run crash the afternoon of March 24.

The victim told police he had been stopped at a red light on Academy Street when the driver of a white Saturn that was turning from South River Street hit his front bumper, according to the complaint. The driver, identified as Dartoe, did not stop to exchange information, police said.

When police contacted Dartoe at South Main Plaza a short time later, he was stumbling and disheveled, with an open bottle of vodka in his car, according to the complaint.

Dartoe, who had a cut under his right eye, began talking about being at war and that he had been attacked by an animal in the jungle, police said.

Dartoe also had glossy, bloodshot eyes and was unsteady on his feet, police said.

Testing determined Dartoe had a blood-alcohol level of .267 percent — more than three times the legal limit for driving.

Dartoe remains free on $10,000 unsecured bail in that case.

Dartoe, a city Department of Public Works employee, made headlines in January for detaining a man who was running away from police. He received a proclamation from the city and was hailed as a hero, though he said he just did what any good citizen should do to combat crime.

Last year, Dartoe was arrested on resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges alleging he was blaring music in the middle of the night and had to be Tasered into compliance when police told him to drop he knife he was using to peel onions.

In that case, he entered the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, which included anger management classes.

Court records show Dartoe also has convictions on summary counts of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct from 2014.

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