An area resident who has been convicted multiple times of driving drunk is facing felony charges again.
Joseph Michael Stetka, 40, was indicted Thursday on charges of operating a vehicle under the influence and refusal to submit to chemical tests, both third-degree felonies. He is scheduled for an arraignment Monday at 10:30 a.m. in Portage County Common Pleas Court. He remained in the Portage County jail on a 10 percent of $25,000 bond Friday.
According to Kent police, a caller reported he saw Stetka speed, almost hit another vehicle and drive into a curb on North Mantua Street around 9:30 p.m. Oct. 7. A patrolman responded and said Stetka was stopped at the intersection of North Mantua Street and Fairchild Avenue, then continued to sit at the intersection when the traffic light turned green. The patrolman said Stetka finally drove through the intersection and pulled over after he turned on his cruiser lights and siren.
Stetka then allegedly almost fell over while performing a sobriety test and refused to submit to a urinalysis. A warrant was obtained and a blood sample was taken.
Court records state Stetka has lived in Mantua, Stow, Kent and presently Cuyahoga Falls. In addition to a conviction for prohibitions, he was found guilty of a third DUI offense in 1998, when he was 19 years old, according to court records. He was found guilty of a misdemeanor OVI offense in 2004 following an Aurora traffic stop, then a felony OVI charge in 2008 following a stop in Northfield Village.
He was convicted of felony OVI again in July 2014 following a traffic stop in Twinsburg. After the 2014 conviction, Stetka received a three-year prison sentence, but the sentence was suspended in April, 2015 and he was released to the Oriana House for treatment. His driver’s license was also suspended for three years. It was not immediately clear how many total convictions he has had on drunk driving charges.
Eric Marotta can be reached at 330-541-9433, or firstname.lastname@example.org.