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Reality check

While celebrating the past, two officers made a chance DUII stop


by: GLEN BLEDSOE - Officers Mike Francis and Brad Moyle dressed in 1913 style garb for the Living History Tour, but a DUII case forced them back into the present. The irony wasn’t lost on West Linn police officer Mike Francis.

When he stopped a man on suspicion of drunk driving in the Willamette area during this past weekend’s Willamette Living History Tour, Francis was wearing a 1913-style police uniform as part of the festivities. If the current year matched his clothing, he might never have approached the car in the first place.

“In 1913, DUII wasn’t illegal,” Francis said. “There weren’t that many driving laws in 1913.”

Yet on this day, at about 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 21, West Linn resident Dennis McCleery, 65, drove his car past a barrier and into the designated walking area of the Living History Tour on 13th Street.

Francis' fellow officer, Brad Moyle, approached first, and called a patrol car to the scene after smelling alcohol on McCleery's breath. Francis arrived at the car shortly after that, and both officers were still wearing what were once standard police uniforms: pea coats and round hats.

“At one point he did try to drive off,” Francis said. “And I put my hand on the windshield and said, ‘Hey, we’re real cops. And you’re really stopped here.’”

McCleery blew a .16 on his blood alcohol test, and was subsequently charged with DUII and booked at Clackamas County Jail.