Police: Drunken man calls for officers, drives

An Altoona man was drunk when he called for police, but it didn’t stop him from then getting in his SUV and driving after talking to responding officers, Altoona police alleged.

Richard L. Eckard, 48, 802 Sixth Ave., Apt. 2, called for police just before 5 p.m. Monday from the 600 block of Eighth Avenue, and when officers arrived, Eckard was highly intoxicated and reported he had been threatened with a gun, police said.

Altoona police said Tuesday that Eckard claimed in his initial call that someone had threatened him with a club, but when officers arrived he claimed a man at a residence at Sixth Street and Seventh Avenue Alley had a gun. Eckard was standing on the sidewalk and officers asked him to remain there while they checked out his claim, which turned out to be unfounded.

While officers watched, Eckard climbed into his Chevrolet Blazer. Eckard drove the vehicle from a parking lot to a parking spot along Eighth Avenue, a move that prompted officers to initiate a battery of field sobriety tests that they said Eckard failed.

Eckard became angry when police attempted to take him into custody and ultimately tried to headbutt one of the officers, police noted.

Eckard missed and was pushed into the back seat of the patrol car where he began smashing his head off the window, according to his arrest papers. Eckard was subdued with pepper spray.