Man who OD’d, crashed pleads guilty to inducing panic charge

LISBON — A Wellsville man who crashed his vehicle while overdosing pleaded no contest to inducing panic in county Municipal Court on Thursday.

Marcus A. Prendes, 35, Iowa Street, Wellsville, was fined $150, credited with 14 days in jail and sentenced to an additional 76 days. However, a review hearing was set for Feb. 25, three days after Prendes is scheduled to appear in Common Pleas Court.

Prendes told Municipal Court Judge Mark Frost he believes he may be sent to the Eastern Ohio Correction Center in Wintersville following the hearing in Common Pleas Court, which involve violating his probation in regards to an attempted possession of drugs conviction, as well as several charges in the Operation Big Oak indictment to which he previously pleaded guilty. Frost scheduled the review hearing to see where Prendes’ cases in Common Pleas Court stand after the hearings.

Assistant County Prosecutor Don Humphrey Jr. said the Wellsville incident happened at the corner of 17th and Lincoln, where the vehicle Prendes was driving struck a pole. When police arrived Prendes was passed out, his skin tone was bluish-purple and his foot was on the brake, the only thing keeping the vehicle from moving because it was in reverse.

Police provided a sternum rub while waiting for medical assistance to transport him to East Liverpool City Hospital. Humphrey said from there, Prendes left against medical advise.

From what he remembers, Frost said the intersection where Prendes crashed is near a school. Prendes claimed the crash happened at 5:30 p.m., while Humphrey said the information in the file said 5:30 a.m.

Humphrey noted the inducing panic charge is one way law enforcement is trying to be proactive in charging people who are putting themselves and others into danger by overdosing on opioids and requiring medical assistance to be revived.

Defense attorney Eric Kibler called the inducing panic charge “a little creative” however he said Prendes does believe the police may have saved his life. Kibler said Prendes knows he needs help.