Flipped car leads to 7th drunk driving charge

Staff Report

A roll-over crash early last Wednesday resulted in drunk driving charges for a well-known Amherst tavern operator.

Paul Baraniak, 50, of Amherst, was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, state refusal, obstructing official business, driving under a drunk driving-related suspension, and failure to control a vehicle. He is the general manager of Ziggy’s Pub and Restaurant on Park Avenue.

A police report said Ptl. Michael Rosebeck said he found a 1996 Ford Mustang on its roof at 12:24 a.m. on Milan Avenue near city hall.

Fire chief Wayne Northeim said it appeared the vehicle ramped off a low stone wall near Beaver Court and rolled. There was no entrapment or injuries but the vehicle was leaking either oil, coolant, or a mix, he said.

Oberlin Municipal Court records show Baraniak has prior alcohol-related offenses and convictions from 1992, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2012, and February of this year.

In a court appearance Friday, he pleaded not guilty and his bond was set at $5,000.

Baraniak was found to be indigent and in need of court-appointed counsel. Attorney Jack Bradley took the case.

A passenger, 47-year-old Lelia Woolwine of Oberlin, was charged with failure to wear a seat belt.

Staff Report