Cortland man charged with felony DWI


A Cortland man driving drunk gave a backpack with marijuana, a scale and an airsoft pistol to an 11-year-old boy riding in the vehicle with him after he was pulled over Friday night, according to city police.

Police stopped Joseph Harvey, 29, of 179 Homer Ave., Apt. 7, just before midnight after an officer spotted him leaving the 7-Eleven on North Main Street with a headlight out and tinted windows, Lt. Michael Strangeway said.

Officers pulled Harvey over on Grant Street, discovered Harvey was traveling with an 11-year-old boy and determined he was intoxicated, Strangeway said.

Before the vehicle was towed away and Harvey taken to the police station, Harvey gave the boy a backpack from inside the vehicle, he said. The backpack contained more than three ounces of marijuana, an electronic scale and an airsoft pistol, according to police.

Strangeway declined to comment on what purpose Harvey might have hoped to achieve by giving the boy the backpack.

“I can’t speak to what his intention was,” he said. “I can’t say what he had in mind when he did that.”

After searching the bag, police confiscated the items. The boy was taken to his grandmother’s home and was placed in her care, according to police.

Harvey was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, felonies, as well as aggravated driving while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol content at or above 0.18 percent, driving while intoxicated as a first offense, fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana and endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanors. He was also charged with three violations: inadequate headlights, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle and tinted windows.

Harvey was arraigned in Cortland City Court and released; he is expected to appear in city court at a later date.