Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty reports the arrest of a Maryland resident on felony DWI charges resulting from an investigation following a complaint.
On July 5th, 2021 at approximately 7:40pm, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Quicklee’s Avon Travel Center on Lakeville Road, in the Town of Avon, for the report of an individual that had been operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated state.
During the investigation, the operator of the vehicle was identified as Thomas J. NJenga, age 55 from Lutherville-Timonium, MD. Deputies did suspect that NJenga was under the influence of alcohol. Deputy Michael Donals, who is assigned to the Sheriff’s Office STOP DWI Unit, did conduct a DWI investigation which included the performance of standardized field sobriety tests. At the conclusion of the investigation, NJenga was taken into custody for DWI. The investigation also revealed that NJenga had been operating a commercial vehicle at the time of his alleged intoxication and operation.
NJenga was then transported to the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters in Geneseo, where he was offered a breathalyzer to determine his blood alcohol content (BAC). Deputy Heather Benjamin of the Jail Division did administer the test which revealed that NJenga had a blood alcohol content of .24%.
A records check revealed that Ryder had a previous DWI related conviction on October 10th, 2016 in the State of Maryland, as well as on December 18th, 2013 in the State of Wisconsin.
Thomas was arrested and charged with felony Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated due to having a BAC of .18% or higher and felony Driving While Intoxicated due to the previous DWI related convictions.
NJenga was turned over to Central Booking Deputies at the Livingston County Jail for processing and pre-arraignment detention. The offenses did qualify for arraignment under the NYS Justice Reform Act, however, the Judge cannot set bail but only apply license restrictions.
NJenga was later arraigned at the Livingston County Centralized Arraignment Part (LC-CAP) at the Livingston County Jail before Town of West Sparta Justice Sue Mahaney. The Judge did release
NJenga on his own recognizance, per the law, to return to court at a later date and Deputies did set him free.
The Livingston County Public Defender’s Office was present and represented NJenga at the court arraignment for his defense. The Livingston County District Attorney’s Office was notified but did not appear to represent the people.
Assisting with the investigation on scene for the Sheriff’s Office was Deputy Jerry Pilkenton and Sergeant Caleb Cutting.