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Accused Heroin User Who Drove Off Highway Avenue Gets Tongue-Lashin' from Judge

A man who drove a vehicle off Highway Avenue and nearly into the Ohio River in Covington appeared in court on Thursday and got a verbal smackdown from Judge Douglas Grothaus.

Randall Schuchart, 47, was in Kenton County District Court for a preliminary hearing as he faces charges of first degree wanton endangerment and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs. He was arrested after his vehicle went through a fence, down an embankment, and close to the river on March 19.

The busy road was closed while the vehicle was pulled from the hill.

A Covington Police officer testified that Schuchart was in and our of consciousness and had to be extracted from the vehicle. He appeared to be under the influence , was unsteady on his feet, and had a fresh track mark in his arm, the officer said.

Apparently, according to the police report, Schuchart was headed west on Highway Avenue (KY Route 8) when he went into the wrong lane forcing cars to swerve out of his way and then forcing him to swerve quickly back to the proper line too strongly, sending him over the embankment. 

A visibly frustrated Grothaus, who had also presided over a previous case that day that involved an alleged drug user nodding off in a vehicle, laid into Schuchart. "If he wants to injure or kill himself, that's his business," Grothaus said. "If he wants to start endangering others, then it's my business."

Schuchart's lengthy criminal record in Kenton County includes arrests on heroin possession, drunk driving, and public intoxication.

"You're gonna end up locked up or boxed up," the judge continued. "Better you be boxed up than someone else. I know those are harsh words. ...This is destroying lives. This is destroying families."

Schuchart remained jailed on $2,500 cash bond. 

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Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: Randall Schuchart (via Kenton Co. Detention Center)

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