FORT WAYNE – Local morning news anchor Mary Collins Frank was preliminarily charged Wednesday with operating a vehicle while intoxicated – a felony because of a 2009 misdemeanor arrest and guilty plea for a similar charge.
Frank, 45, appeared in Allen Superior Court on Wednesday after her arrest Tuesday.
The morning anchor for Indiana’s NewsCenter did not appear on air Wednesday morning, and by early afternoon, her biography and picture had been removed from the network’s website.
A message left for Indiana’s NewsCenter President and General Manager Jerry Giesler was unreturned Wednesday.
Frank, of the 11800 block of Eagle Creek Pass, was arrested Tuesday about 3:30 p.m. outside of the Walgreen’s store at 9030 W. Jefferson Blvd. after she purchased a bottle of wine. Frank smelled of alcohol, and her behavior made a store clerk concerned, according to court documents.
According to police reports, Frank was arrested in the pharmacy’s drive-thru lane, where she had driven after buying the wine inside the store. Police found the wine bottle inside the car. It had been opened and some wine consumed, police said.
When Fort Wayne police officers approached her black Lexus SUV, Frank was argumentative and uncooperative. She initially refused to provide police with her driver’s license and seemed to want to drive away, according to court records.
After officers placed her in a police car, she repeatedly asked to speak with Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York, according to police reports.
At the scene, Frank initially refused to take a portable breath test and refused all standard field sobriety tests. According to police reports, officers took her to the Allen County Lockup and administered a certified breath test at 5:08 p.m., which showed she had a blood-alcohol content of 0.14 percent, nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, according to court documents.
She appeared in Allen Superior Court’s Misdemeanor and Traffic Division on Wednesday morning and Superior Court Magistrate Marcia Linsky found probable cause existed for the arrest.
Another hearing is scheduled for July.
The preliminary charge will expire in three business days, and prosecutors will have to decide whether to file formal charges against Frank.
In 2009, police arrested Frank after other motorists saw her driving erratically at 9:30 a.m. in the Getz Road area.
A Fort Wayne police report said a Breathalyzer revealed she had a blood-alcohol level between 0.13 percent and 0.14 percent, above the 0.08 percent legal limit.
Frank told police she had not consumed any alcoholic beverages but gave officers several other explanations for her behavior – including having just eaten Skittles and rum cake, and having fasted for medical tests, according to a police report at the time.
Frank pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a Class A misdemeanor. She was given a suspended jail sentence of 60 days and her license was suspended for 90 days, according to court records.