Wheelchair-Bound Man Found Guilty

A Garrard County judge handed down a guilty verdict on Monday for a man, charged with reckless driving in his wheelchair.

Ohmer Portwood was cited for driving his power chair in the road. He says he has no choice but to hit the road, because there was no sidewalk for him to use.

District Judge Bill Oliver ruled Portwood was guilty to an amended charge of breaking the pedestrian code.

Portwood was sentenced to pay a $20 fine and court costs and was ordered to not drive his chair in the street any more.

Portwood says he plans to sue the city of Lancaster in federal court to make sure they bring sidewalks and streets up to code in accordance with Americans With Disabilities Act.

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  • by dcmerkle Location: Towson, Md on Apr 24, 2008 at 02:53 PM
    Where the prosecutor said that Lancaster having no sidewalks for Mr. Portwood was irrelevant to the case just goes to show how Lancaster has no concern for the handicapped. Did that prosecutor realize what he was opening up when he made that statement? Does Lancaster's government realize just how badly they've been portrayed. Guess how much this is going to cost them in tourism trade this summer?
  • by Bill on Apr 24, 2008 at 05:28 AM
    good ol Kentucky will arrest anyone for 20 bucks.What a bunch of bull.who ever this judge was he needs run out of town,along with the cop writting the ticket.
  • by someone with an opinion Location: pikeville on Apr 23, 2008 at 05:40 PM
    Though I have never been to Lancaster, I cannot believe in 2008, there are towns that do not provide adequate pathes or walkways , easy access ramps, etc. What is up, what does everyone else do to get around there? Why is he rendered with no choice but to drive.
  • by SR Location: Garrard on Apr 23, 2008 at 04:26 PM
    You think the Judge will bring him everything he needs? How else will the man get food and the other things he needs. I see him too, and yes I will have to say it is dangerous, but what choice does he have. The sidewalks are a mess in this town, I don't know if the homeowners or the city is resposible for keeping them up, but something needs to be done.. There are other handicapped people in this town too, that I am sure would like to see things made better..
  • by Wow Location: Richmond on Apr 23, 2008 at 03:54 PM
    @Mary Location: Lancaster Your god must hate you. You think you can judge others and say god will punish them. Then you drive by speedind while on your cell phone and get mad because some one with a disability that has no means of gettin around other than the one he uses might slow you down for a few seconds or make you dirve more carefully. DO us all a favor and finish your martyrdom so that your backward hypocrit ways that ruin this country by your fairy tell book will end.
  • by Can't walk Location: Ky on Apr 23, 2008 at 11:44 AM
    I am barely able to walk,okay. I have been getting ready to get out of the car(passenger side) at WalMart, to get a wheelchair. Some lazy fat (edited)jumps out of her car and "RUNS" to get the chair ahead of me.People with true handicaps should get special treatment in these cases. If the man in the story has this as his only means of transportation, Lancaster is dead wrong in citing him.I seen the lazy woman I spoke of in the store that day. I could only go to about 2 isles that day. I left there with nothing I came for.People like this should be the ones cited for offenses!!!!
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:53 AM
    Way to go, Lancaster, another huge step back for the Commonwealth of Kentucky!
  • by DC Location: Hazard on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:01 AM
    This should have never been a vehicular offense. I know of a man in Louisville, KY that got a citation for drunk driving in his wheelchair.That was a gross injustice. That's not a vehicle, people, that wheelchair is his legs. Obstructing traffic, yes. Vehicular offense, NO.
  • by Anonymous Location: KY on Apr 23, 2008 at 09:25 AM
    I think that most of these people just ride those things because they are just lazy. There are people on them that do not need them.They are a road hazard anyways.If he has to ride in the road to go to a place, he might want to change his route, and he might have just wanted a law suit anyways beacuse people are just sue happy anywas
  • by Pmalea Location: Harrodsburg on Apr 23, 2008 at 07:39 AM
    I use to work in Garrard Co. over 10years ago and this man was driving in the road then. I also know that people drive way too fast but I think the judge did the right thing but if there is a sidewalk problem they do need to address the problem. My cousin is in a wheelchair and I know the difficulties when sidewalks or old or not wide enough..My cousin cant even come to my house because our bathroom doors arent even wide enough Unless you face the problem personally you dont really think about the different things that need to be considered when making it accesible for disabled people.


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