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2 sides to swerving Maserati story


Mr. Michael Gartner:

Greetings to you. I want to inform you and your readers of the following….My trial for OWI was held on Feb. 27 in Nevada at the Story County Courthouse. The jury was seated, and the Story County prosecutor presented the State’s case. There was no video evidence of a swerving car presented, even though the police camera was recording during the entire traffic stop. Under cross examination by my attorney Robert Rehkemper, there was testimony that I used nasal spray to control my allergies, thus the watery eyes. The two arresting officers both testified that my judgement was NOT impaired, my emotions were under control, my mental abilities were NOT affected, I did NOT sway or slur my speech and I had control of my bodily actions and motions. Both officers also testified that, in their opinions, I was NOT intoxicated. Evidence was presented that the State of Iowa warns all police officers that field sobriety tests conducted on individuals 65 and older are not conclusive. Evidence was also presented that when the 30-year-old arresting police officer demonstrated to me, how to perform the field sobriety test, he failed both tests. Finally, evidence was presented that after being arrested and taken to the Story County jail, I was immediately released from jail as my blood alcohol level was determined to be .019, less than 1/4 of the .08 limit. When the County Prosecutor rested his case, my attorney asked for a directed verdict and a dismissal of the case, because of the lack of evidence. Judge Steven P. Ban Marel, District Associate Judge of the Second Judicial District of Iowa, agreed, granted the motion and dismissed the case before the Court. All Court costs were assessed to the State of Iowa.

So why was I arrested? It should have never happened. A traffic citation could have been issued for the missing taillight. Every citizen has a right to refuse those tests, and every citizen has the right to speak with their attorney. Why was the case even brought to trial? There is more to this case than meets the eye. If you want to discuss this further, I will come down and visit with you. Otherwise, I would appreciate it if you would inform your readers of the above listed facts. You must remember that we are all presumed innocent until proven guilty. I understand that all of this information is public record, but I am a private citizen and hold no public office or duty. I wish you would have called and at least given me a chance to respond or comment before you wrote your column (Civic Skinny, March 2018). There are two sides to every story. You have shined your spotlight on me as a private businessman, you have damaged my reputation, and held me up to public ridicule with your innuendo and inaccurate assumptions. You have unfairly convicted me in the Court of Public Opinion, and for what purpose? This is not the journalism that I was taught in Journalism 101. This is not the journalism of Gil Cranberg.

Bruce Gerleman ♦

Editor’s note: All information in the item was taken from police and court records, and the dismissal of the case — which occurred after CITYVIEW went to press — was duly noted in the updated version on the CITYVIEW web page.

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