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Man Arrested For 5th DWI, Child In Back Seat

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A Sioux Falls man is being charged with his 5th DWI. It comes after Police pulled him over in a saturation patrol Friday night. Even more shocking though, the man had his 19th month old son in the back seat of the car at the time. The child was in a car seat, but was not belted in.

According to police, it was just before 10 p.m. when an officer with the Sioux Falls Police Department noticed a Chevy Suburban passing cars in the turning lane near 41st Street and Spring Avenue. When the officer pulled over the vehicle a few blocks away, near the HyVee on 37th and Minnesota Avenue. Police say 27-year-old Jesse Florek of Sioux Falls wreaked of alcohol and couldn't provide a driver's license.

Lt. Jerome Miller with the Sioux Falls Police Department said, "When he contacted the driver he noticed there was a child in the backseat unrestrained."

Police say when the officer went back to his vehicle to check his records, Florek fled.

Miller said, "The driver took off and fled on foot, leaving what ended up being his 19 month old son in the backseat."

Because of the child, the officer was unable to chase him. Instead, the officer put out a description over his radio. Just a half an hour later, police found Jesse Florek near 41st Street and Grange Avenue. Even then he gave police a false impersonation.

Florek was arrested on a handful of different charges including his 5th DWI, child neglect or contributing to the delinquency of a minor, obstruction of law enforcement and driving while revoked. State's Attorney Aaron McGowen says unfortunately in Minnehaha County having that many DWI's isn't uncommon. He says out of the 2,000 DWI's his office prosecutes each year, 20 percent have three or more.

McGowan said, "A lot of times people will be driving while revoked and without a license especially in those 4th, 5th, subsequent DWI's."

With the DWI charge alone, McGowan says Florek faces up to 10 years in prison and a 20-thousand-dollar fine. If convicted, he could have his driver's license revoked for the rest of his life.

"It's extremely frustrating for us. At some point we just have to throw our hands up in the air and try to house people in the penetentiary or jail as long as we possibly can to protect the general public," said McGowan.

Florek made his first appearance in a Sioux Falls courtroom Monday. The judge set his bond at $5,000 cash assurity. If he posts bond, he will be required to report to the 24/7 program.

In court, a representative from the state's attorney's office said Florek had four other DWI's in the last 10 years. The first was in July of 2005, the second in March of 2006, another in December of 2007 and the last in June of 2009. Florek was also convicted of a felony in 2009 for a failure to appear in court.
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