Joseph Stickler
Joseph Stickler

A Wrightsville man was drunk and high when borough police Officer Michael Carpenter spotted him driving more than 100¤mph in a 35¤mph residential zone during a sleet storm, on an expired driver's license, according to charging documents.

But none of those alleged crimes is what caused Carpenter to file a felony charge against Joseph Anthony Stickler.

Carpenter charged Stickler with bribery after the defendant allegedly offered him $1,000 to simply drive Stickler home and agree not to arrest him, police allege.

And he theoretically could have made good on the alleged offer, because he had $1,651 cash on him at the time of his arrest, charging documents state.

"(Carpenter) was slightly offended to think his integrity was being questioned," Wrightsville Police Chief Ron Hege said. "It's relatively unusual for an officer to be bribed with cash right there on the spot."

Public defender Adam Witkonis, who represents Stickler, did not return a phone message seeking comment.

The allegations: Stickler was driving a Chevrolet pickup truck eastbound at more than 100¤mph in the 800 block of Hellam Street (Route 462) about 2 a.m. March 19 when he was spotted by the officer, documents allege.

Carpenter saw Stickler pass a vehicle by driving in the oncoming lane, despite the fact that it's a no-passing zone, according to documents.

At the time, roads were wet because it was sleeting and raining, police said.

Stickler pulled over in front of his North Front Street home and got out, which is when Carpenter approached him, documents state.


'Unsteady': "I observed that the driver appeared unsteady on his feet ... and he had an unusual gaze in his eyes," Carpenter wrote in Stickler's arrest affidavit, which states Stickler smelled strongly of alcohol, had glassy eyes and was slurring his speech.

The officer found a marijuana pipe in the pocket of Stickler's hooded sweatshirt, documents state.

A blood test later determined his blood-alcohol level to be 0.227 percent, which is nearly three times the legal limit. In Pennsylvania, an adult is driving drunk at 0.08 percent.

The blood test also revealed Stickler had marijuana in his system at the time, police allege.

Prior DUI: Court records indicate he pleaded guilty in 2007 to DUI and causing an accident involving damage to unattended vehicles or property.

Stickler, 27, of 472 N. Front St., remains free on bail.

In addition to third-degree felony bribery, he is charged with the misdemeanors of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as the summary offenses of driving without a license, reckless driving, careless driving, driving at an unsafe speed and illegal passing.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at