There’s a new situation comedy brewing along the streets of Del Rio which I refer to as ‘Chito and the Man.” Chito is the individual who has decided it’s his God given calling to landscape the median along Veterans Boulevard, with no regard that he is a roving traffic hazard. The Man is city councilman Raul Ojeda. Most recently, he has become an overwhelming traffic statistic which has become an epidemic in Del Rio: being arrested while driving under the influence of alcohol. This situation of errors can be placed into archives if the Del Rio City Council acts to do so. Don’t hold your breath. It’s not going to happen, but let me tell you why it should.
Chito’s merry mower parade has a primary route of Veterans Boulevard from north of Stricklen to 7th Street. Other streets of his armada include 15th Street, Main, and Avenue G. He is a complete menace to north side motorists. Chito’s cavalcades are at least 30 feet long and consist of a push mower, followed by wagons filled with mess, shambles, and clutter. He dodges in and out of traffic without any regard to motorists. Where is a DPS trooper or policeman when we need enforcement? While Loop 79 remains closed and the endless travel of pipeline trucks clog Veterans Boulevard worse than a teenage girl’s sink drain one hour before the prom; Chito’s 30 foot fleet plays chicken with eight tons of instant destruction.
Meanwhile, the story of the Man. Recently city councilman Raul Ojeda was pulled over by Del Rio’s finest for suspected driving under the influence. Reports state he had a blood alcohol level of 0.157 which is twice the legal limit of operating a motor vehicle. That’s even a lot in Russia. According to police reports, the Man was driving above the speed limit, on the wrong side of his road, and failed to stop until he made it to a residential driveway. Ojeda faces a Class A Misdemeanor.
For the first four years of my broadcast career I was as a traffic/news reporter in Dallas, Houston, and Miami. Before I advanced to an airborne reporter, my first year was in a ground mobile unit. I have witnessed the carnage of fatal accidents in which alcohol or uninspected/unauthorized operations of vehicles were contributing factors. I have seen decapitations, death by fire, and even a family of seven killed by a drunk driver. There were dozens of other accidents which I came upon before first responders, and three accidents where I either testified in court or provided depositions for insurance companies. I don’t have much compassion for those who break traffic laws as if they were changing their socks daily. Nor for those who get behind the wheel, knowing they have had too much to drink.
We can ask our Del Rio City Council to do something about this tongue and cheek situation comedy. Our leaders can provide ordinance of restricting the use of unauthorized vehicles on major thoroughfares (Chito) and reprimand, suspension, or letter of resignation of the Man (Raul Ojeda) for suspected drunk driving. How can we trust those who represent us when they choose to use a three thousand pound car as a potential weapon? Don’t look for any action to be taken. Just a continued episode of “Chito and the Man”