Dowagiac man given probation for drunken tirade at hospital

Published 9:49 am Monday, June 29, 2015

While thankfully no one was injured in his drunken — and naked — escapade inside the Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital emergency room, an underage Dowagiac man will be paying the price for his actions.

Nathaniel Robert Warner

Nathaniel Robert Warner

Cass County Circuit Court Judge Michael Dodge sentenced Nathaniel Robert Warner, 19, to one year of probation under the Michigan Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) during his appearance at the Cass County Law & Courts Building in Cassopolis Friday. Warner was sentenced for the felony charge of resisting and obstructing a police officer and misdemeanor charge minor in possession of alcohol, both of which he pleaded guilty to on June 1.

The incident these charges stem from occurred on March 28. Officers with the Dowagiac Police Department were dispatched to the local hospital after receiving complaints that an intoxicated 18-year-old was causing a disturbance in the emergency area. The subject of the call, Warner, was running around the area without clothes on, and had urinated on the floor.

Upon arrival, the Dowagiac man challenged the police officers, who worked with hospital staff to subdue his drunken tirade by holding him down.

“Eventually, it got bad enough that they had to taze you,” Dodge said. “It took that to bring you to your senses, and at least come to the realization that you had to back down, that you were out of control.”

The probation department recommended that Warner be given a short probation sentence under the state’s HYTA program, which would allow the man to avoid having a felony conviction on his record should he successfully complete his sentence. Assistant Prosecutor Kirk Metzger expressed his opposition to this recommendation, though, given the fact his actions endangered the staff working at the hospital that night as well as the two officers responding to the situation.

“It’s concerning how out of control he was,” Metzger said.

Given the circumstances of the case, the judge decided to follow the HYTA recommendation, though he warned Warner that any violations of his probation sentence would result in the felony charge going back on his record, he said.

“I think this should be an early wakeup call for you about the use of alcohol,” Dodge said. “I don’t know how long you’ve been using it, but if this is any indication of what happens when you have too much to drink, you’re advised to not let that happen again.”

Also sentenced Friday:

• Lorna Lynn Odlum, 49, of Cassopolis, to one year of probation for maintaining a drug house and for possession of marijuana.

• Israel Santana Reyna, 21, of Dowagiac, to two years of probation for meth related charges.

• Manuel Lango Mireles, 70, of Dowagiac, to four days credit for time already served for possession of a firearm by a felon.

• Michael Duane Zech, 24, of Berrien Springs, to three years of probation for meth related charges.