More details released in Frisbie case

Monday, December 7, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- More details have come to light concerning the Friday night arrest of former Putnam County Sheriff Mark T. Frisbie.

Indiana State Police troopers stopped Frisbie Friday night at U.S. 231 and Tennessee Street after Frisbie, 39, was observed driving a 1985 Chevy pickup truck erratically.

An affidavit of probable cause prepared by ISP Sgt. Michael Wood said he saw Frisbie "travel right of the fog line and onto the shoulder while driving east on Veteran's Memorial Highway approaching U.S. 231."

"At the intersection of Veteran's Memorial Highway and U.S. 231 the truck then made an unsafe lane movement by making a narrow turn north onto U.S. 231 causing the truck to travel left of center into the southbound lanes," Wood's report said.

Wood stopped Frisbie, who identified himself.

"As I spoke to the driver I could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mr. Frisbie's breath as he spoke to me," Wood wrote. "I also observed slurred speech, red, glossy eyes and slow and deliberate manual dexterity."

At that point, Wood asked Frisbie to step out of his vehicle.

"I noticed an unstable balance as (Frisbie) staggered toward the front of his truck," Wood wrote. "As he attempted to walk around the front of his truck he then fell onto the hood of his truck. At this time he admitted to having drunk alcoholic beverages about an hour prior. I also located an open container of an alcoholic beverage located in the console of his vehicle."

Wood attempted to put Frisbie through field sobriety tests, but "Due to his intoxication and unsteady balance I suspended all tests and read him Indiana Implied Consent and placed him in handcuffs, double locked and checked for tightness."

Wood read Frisbie his Miranda Rights, and Frisbie was transported to the Putnam County Jail. There, Frisbie "provided a breath sample that had an alcohol concentration equivalent to .27 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath with a certified chemical test after a 20-minute observation period."

The legal blood alcohol concentration limit in Indiana is .08 percent.

"Due to his high level of intoxication (Frisbie) was transported to the Putnam County Hospital, where he was checked and treated by hospital staff," Wood's report said. "The hospital also took blood samples to confirm the levels of intoxication."

According to court documents, while he was at the hospital Frisbie said, "I admit it, I'm guilty. There's no reason to fight it; .27 is extremely high."

Frisbie was released from the hospital back into Wood's custody, and was then booked into jail. He posted a $3,000 surety bond and was released from jail at around 5 p.m. Saturday.

Frisbie was charged with Class C misdemeanor operating while intoxicated, Class B misdemeanor public intoxication and Class A misdemeanor operating with at least .15 grams of alcohol in 210 liters. He was also cited for two infractions, open alcohol container and driving left of center.

All reports have been forwarded to Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter. Frisbie is set for an initial hearing Wednesday in Putnam County Circuit Court.

Frisbie resigned as Putnam County sheriff in August 2008 amid allegations that he had embezzled money from the sheriff's department. He was convicted in November 2008 of federal program theft, and entered the United States Penitentiary satellite camp in Atlanta, Ga. On Feb. 2.

He was released from the camp on March 31, and served four months on home detention before beginning a two-year term of federal probation.

Bookwater said he had received a telephone message from Frisbie's federal probation officer requesting documents, but that he had not spoken to the officer.

"I don't know what will happen there," Bookwalter said.

Bookwalter said he assumes Frisbie will have to go back before the judge who sentence him, Larry McKinney, to be sentenced for violating the terms of his probation.

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  • It's ridiculous for any person to be out driving intoxicated. Enough innocent people have died already because of other's indiscretion. This man took an oath to protect and serve and for him to turn it all around and act with such carelessness and disregard all laws is ridiculous and no one in their right mind can say he didn't know better. Regardless of him mental state of well-being, never endanger other's lives. It's a senseless act!

    -- Posted by cmg071580 on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 2:15 PM
  • Does this really surprise anyone..Has anyone ever been on the Sheriff Rides..The only thing that may have changed is he isnt the sheriff anymore.

    -- Posted by Oh My Goodness on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 2:34 PM
  • I must admit that reading the article about Mark was troubling and saddening. However, I think that the commentary regarding Mark, found on this site, is more troubling still. I can remember many, many people who could not wait to ride the former Sheriff's coat-tails when they thought they could get something for it. . . be it favorable treatment, notoriety, status, etc. When Mark fell, it appears that no one wanted to be around him. He has made mistakes, and whatever you may feel about the appropriateness or inappropriateness of his connduct in the past, or his sentence given by a federal judge, it should appear clear to anyone who knows him that Mark has a serious problem. He is an alcoholic and is clearly in denial about it. He does not think he is above the law. . . his alcoholism does not allow him to think at all. He just acts. Sad, yes. But true. I think we would all do well to remember that not one of us has never experienced a family member or friend with the same serious problem. Mark will be in my thoughts and prayers, and I ask all readers to resist the urge to throw a life away instead of thinking of ways to save it.

    -- Posted by voiceofreason39 on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 3:05 PM
  • Well, as Ron White would say "You can't fix stupid"!!!!!

    -- Posted by roachdalekid on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 3:07 PM
  • Its a sad situation, I never understood why he stayed around here, and didn't go somewhere and try to start new. I feel the same way about Fenwick's family, a move for those children.

    -- Posted by Sputty on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 3:08 PM
  • These are sad times. It seems that everyone is out of wack.

    -- Posted by Hairy Tiger on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 3:14 PM
  • Lord please save this man's soul.

    -- Posted by Harmony Church on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 3:36 PM
  • Karma

    -- Posted by A Mad Bovine on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 3:48 PM
  • I'm sure mark will get what he deserves,but it's his family I feel sad for,they asked for none of this.My prays to you.

    -- Posted by obeone on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 4:43 PM
  • Oh my Pastor, a few short months ago you were willing to throw a life away for crimes similar to Frisbie's...."The cure for both community and the criminal element in it is the permanent removal of an incorrigible person from society. A repentant criminal has an opportunity to make restitution and be restored to society. If repentance and restitution are defiantly refused by an offender, a repeat offender shows he/she comes under the status described as a habitual, incorrigible, or serial criminal. Therefore, for the health of the greater community such a person must be removed -- not housed, clothed, and fed at the expense of law abiding citizens." Interesting from your point of view that one can be saved and the other thrown to the gates of hell...Whats the difference between drugs and alcohol besides one is legal and the other illegal? why can one man be saved by taking JESUS as his saviour and the other not? Flawed thinking at best.

    -- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 5:09 PM
  • .27,

    Way to go. I figure there could be some common sense used by our PREVIOUS sheriff. I am not sure what some people think when they begin to make a stupid choice.

    Amazing how stupid some people are.

    -- Posted by way2go on Mon, Dec 7, 2009, at 6:23 PM