Driver who goes to State Police to file report booked on DWI _lowres

Patrick W. Ruffner

A Gonzales man who drove to State Police Troop A headquarters early Sunday to report a hit-and-run was in handcuffs by the end of his visit on suspicion of driving to the troop while intoxicated.

A trooper summoned to investigate the hit-and-run at around 3:45 a.m. Sunday saw a Chevrolet Trailblazer leave the parking lot of the headquarters as he was pulling up, only to witness the SUV pull right back into the parking lot and park directly behind his police unit, State Police said.

The trooper soon met with the SUV’s driver, Patrick W. Ruffner, 31, who reportedly smelled of alcohol, said Trooper 1st Class Jared Sandifer, a State Police spokesman.

Ruffner performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of first-offense DWI and operating a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license, Sandifer said.

Ruffner did submit to a breath test, but Sandifer would not disclose the result of the test.

“He did admit to drinking beer and vodka,” Sandifer said.

Ruffner did not show up to the headquarters in the same vehicle as he claimed he was driving in the hit-and-run, Sandifer said, and police still aren’t sure whether the crash ever happened.

They did advise Ruffner to call them whenever he was released from Parish Prison if he still wanted to make a crash report, Sandifer said.