Man charged with assault, DUI after trying to drive into Fairbanks mall

A young man who tried to drive into a Fairbanks mall has been charged with driving under the influence, but his level of intoxication and the substance he was allegedly using remain unclear.

Joseph Wilson, 18, registered a breath-alcohol content of zero and told police he had not been drinking, taking prescription medications or inhalants, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

According to a criminal complaint, Wilson told police he had smoked marijuana before arriving at the mall, but hadn't taken the dried mushrooms allegedly found in his vehicle.

Wilson described the mushrooms as "dissociative," and a type that could get you "really high," Fairbanks police said. He was not initially charged with any drug offenses.

He is, however, charged with driving under the influence, felony criminal mischief and felony assault, the last charge based on the allegation that he frightened people when he damaged to entrance to Bentley Mall.

Bail was set at $10,000 during Friday's arraignment. He told Magistrate Kirk Schwalm he did not need an attorney, but smiled and changed his mind when Schwalm explained the severity of the charges.

Wilson has no criminal record.

The criminal complaint states Wilson told police he was trying to drive through the mall. Asked by officers why he thought that was a good idea, he said it was not a good idea: "I'm just like ... going a little crazy, I believe."

Investigators said Wilson had bloodshot watery eyes, along with body and eyelid tremors that got less severe during the course of their interview with him.

Police Sgt. Gary Yamamoto said the crash occurred at a low speed, less than 20 mph.

There were no injuries and the damage to the front entrance is estimated at $5,000.


Associated Press