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Local anchor appears in court on DWI charge

Mary Collins Frank

FORT WAYNE – Local morning news anchor Mary Collins Frank, 45, appeared in Allen Superior Court on Wednesday morning after a Tuesday arrest, accused of drunken driving.

Frank was preliminarily charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and the charge is a felony because of a 2009 misdemeanor arrest and guilty plea for a similar charge.

The morning anchor for Indiana's NewsCenter was arrested Tuesday around 3:30 p.m. outside a local Walgreen's store after she purchased a bottle of wine. Frank smelled of alcohol and her behavior made a store clerk concerned, according to court documents.

According to police reports, Frank was arrested in the pharmacy's drive-through lane, where she had driven after buying the wine inside the store. Police found the wine bottle inside the car. It had been opened and some wine was missing, police said.

When Fort Wayne police officers approached her black Lexus SUV, Frank was argumentative and uncooperative. She initially refused to provide police with her driver's license and seemed to want to drive away, according to court records.

After officers placed her in a police car, she repeatedly asked to speak with Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York, according to police reports.

Frank's dog was inside her SUV, and she refused to tell police whom they could call to pick it up, police said, so Animal Care and Control officers came and took the dog.

A Walgreen's employee told police Frank was a frequent customer, but she was acting strangely and smelled of alcohol. When Frank left the counter, an employee called police, concerned she was going to try to drive. Frank pulled into the drive-through lane, and the pharmacy staff tried to "stall" her until police arrived, according to court documents.

At the scene, Frank initially refused to take a portable breath test and refused all standard field sobriety tests. According to police reports, officers took her to the Allen County Lock-up and administered a certified breath test at 5:08 p.m., which showed she had a blood-alcohol content of 0.14 percent, nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, according to court documents.

rgreen@jg.net

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