Accident investigation leads police to charge Dover man with fifth DUI

DOVER — A 56-year-old Dover man was charged with an alleged fifth drunken driving offense Friday after investigation into a hit-and-run accident, police said in court papers.

According to the Delaware State Police in an affidavit of probable cause, Lenwood M. Johnson Jr., of the first block of Sapp Drive, was arrested after investigation into his vehicle that was allegedly found in an undisclosed roadway ditch at approximately 4:45 p.m.

Police said in papers that several calls reporting an accident were made to the Communications Section, but nobody was seen around the vehicle. A trooper arrived, police said, and a vehicle check showed Mr. Johnson was the owner.

A trooper said in court papers he was told by the Communications Section that Mr. Johnson allegedly had reported earlier that his vehicle had been stolen.

“Furthermore, Kentcom advised that (Mr. Johnson) did not provide any more details about the incident and did not know that his car had been involved in the accident,” police said in papers.

A trooper investigating at the scene said an alleged witness to the accident reported that a white male that wasn’t seen clearly was alone in the crashed vehicle and then had walked away from the scene, appearing to attempt to hitchhike.

Mr. Johnson, presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty, was contacted about the reported motor vehicle theft via telephone, police said in papers.

“On the phone, (Mr. Johnson) appeared to be extremely intoxicated,” authorities alleged in court documents.

“Furthermore (Mr. Johnson) advised that he had been at home all day with an illness (redacted) and when he awoke observed that his vehicle was missing.

“(Mr. Johnson) informed me that he spoke with some neighbors (redacted) who told him that a black male (redacted) had taken his vehicle.”

Contacted at home

In papers, a trooper left the scene and contacted Mr. Johnson at his home.

“At this time, (Mr. Johnson) informed me that the person who took his vehicle was a white male (redacted),” police said.

“Also, (Mr. Johnson) advised he did not have the keys to the vehicle in his possession.”

According to police in papers, a person who allegedly identified Mr. Johnson through a photograph as being picked up from the scene provided a key that had reportedly fallen from his pocket while in the vehicle.

Police said Mr. Johnson “refused both field tests and an intoxilyzer test.”

According to police, a Delaware Justice Information System check found that Mr. Johnson was convicted of a fourth DUI offense in Kent County Superior Court on Jan. 28, 1999.

Charges included felony fifth offense DUI and false statement, misdemeanor leaving the scene of a collision, insurance card violation and other alleged offenses.

Mr. Johnson was initially held by the Delaware Department of Correction in lieu of $7,104 secured bond. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Friday in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas in Dover.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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