A 38-year-old Scranton man faces multiple charges of endangering the welfare of children and one count of DUI after police said he drove erratically and failed to stop for police with five children in the car.
Sean Thomas Fitzpatrick, 621 N. Bromley Ave., was stopped Dec. 14 by Waverly Twp. police after he failed to pull over for Dalton Patrolman Scott Gaughan in Factoryville.
The North Bromley Avenue address is also St. Gregory the Great Academy’s mailing address and was used until 2017 as the address on the academy’s newsletter. Fitzpatrick, who could not be reached for comment Monday, is listed as the academy’s headmaster on its website.
According to a criminal complaint, a Toyota minivan was spotted there around 9:50 p.m., driving erratically. The vehicle continued driving on Route 6 to Route 11, where it’s only possible to turn right toward Nicholson, and turned left toward Factoryville, driving south in the northbound lane.
Gaughan followed the vehicle, noting that it was crossing lanes and going from 35 to 25 mph in a 45 mph zone. Gaughan activated his cruiser’s lights near Keystone College.
Fitzpatrick turned on his left turn signal but never pulled over. He continued fluctuating in speed and drove in the middle of the two-lane highway at times, the complaint noted. Gaughan shined his spotlight at the vehicle and attempted to drive alongside it.
Fitzpatrick eventually stopped at the intersection of Routes 6 and 11 and Humphreys Road, where Waverly Twp. police arrived. The South Abington Twp. police also assisted.
When asked why he didn’t stop initially, Fitzpatrick told Gaughan he was looking for a safe spot to pull over.
Gaughan reported smelling alcohol on Fitzpatrick and noticed his eyes were bloodshot.
Fitzpatrick’s five children, ages 3 to 13, were in the vehicle.
When asked for his driver’s license, Fitzpatrick handed the officer a credit card twice before giving the officer his license.
Gaughan also reported that Fitzpatrick had trouble keeping his balance once he stepped out of his vehicle. He agreed to a breath test, which showed a reading of 0.194, more than twice the legal limit.
The complaint notes police called his wife to pick up the children.
In addition to DUI and five counts of child endangerment, Fitzpatrick also faces charges of careless driving, failure to keep right and obedience to traffic control devices.
His preliminary hearing before Judge David K. Plummer in Tunkhannock is set for Jan. 29.