Father Arrested for OWI and Child Neglect

The driver’s 9-month-old son was standing on his lap, crying and banging on the window.

(Scottsburg, Ind.) – On Wednesday, May 20, Sergeant Tracy Spencer arrested a southern Indiana father after allegedly finding him passed out behind the wheel and traveling with his infant child.

Around 9:50 p.m. Wednesday, Sergeant Spencer was patrolling i-65 northbound near Scottsburg when he observed a vehicle stopped along the right side of the interstate with its flashers on.

Sergeant Spencer stopped to check the vehicle, and upon approaching the driver’s side of the vehicle, found the male driver either asleep or passed out behind the wheel. The driver’s 9-month-old son was standing on his lap, crying and banging on the window.

After several attempts, Sergeant Spencer was able to wake the driver, who was later identified as Derek W. Ribelin, 34, of Vallonia, Indiana. Ribelin appeared to be intoxicated, and Sergeant Spencer also observed an open alcoholic beverage container sitting on the passenger’s seat.

Scottsburg City Police and Scott County Deputies arrived to assist while Sergeant Spencer continued his investigation.

After conducting a standard field sobriety test and a preliminary breath test with a result of .136 BAC. Sergeant Spencer then transported Ribelin to Scott Memorial Hospital and obtained an official blood draw.

Officers who remained at the scene also located a loaded pistol in the driver's side door pocket.

The child was taken by ambulance to Scott Memorial Hospital for observation and, in a short time, released to the biological mother.

Derik Ribelin was housed at the Scott County Jail and is charged with the following:

1. Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Impairment with Passenger Less than 18 - Level 6 Felony.

2. Neglect of a Dependent - Level 6 Felony

3. OWI - Class C Misdemeanor

4. Possession of a Handgun without a Permit - Class D Misdemeanor

5. Possession of Marijuana - Level 6 Felony

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