Wagstaff Arrest Documents Released
Patty Wagstaff says she "probably did use a few choice words" for Winnebago County Sheriff's deputies when she was arrested on July 31 on a runway at Wittman Regional Airport but she maintains that officers overstepped their bounds during the incident. Local authorities paint a different picture, however, and more details of the incident came to light Sunday. The Oshkosh Northwestern obtained copies of reports by arresting officers and jail personnel, including a video of the booking procedure, through an open records request and what resulted is a she said/he said collection of mutual accusations. The newspaper reports that authorities claim Wagstaff was abusive, hit one deputy on the arm and had to be "wrestled to the ground" on the runway to be cuffed and later had to be "assisted to the ground" to be patted down. Wagstaff told the paper the incident took her by surprise because she was properly credentialed to be driving on the airport, although she took a wrong turn onto the runway. The airport was closed at the time. "I don't think they gave me a chance. They didn't offer me a field sobriety test," she said. "They were just real excited when they got there and I never understood why." But the police say it's Wagstaff who was agitated.
The paper says the reports paint a picture of Wagstaff as an uncooperative prisoner who hurled epithets at most of those involved in the booking process. Wagstaff told the Northwestern she was "not used to being treated that way." The newspaper reported that Wagstaff was taken to a medical center for a blood draw and was subsequently asked for a breath sample, which she refused. The results of the blood test haven't, to our knowledge, been made public. Wagstaff was fined $500 and had her driver's license suspended for eight months in late December when she pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and first-offense drunk driving. She's not done with the court process, however. She's applied to have the driving suspension made retroactive to the date of the offense. EAA AirVenture spokesman Dick Knapinski told the newspaper Wagstaff has been invited to perform in 2009 and Wagstaff said she's looking forward to it. "Everyone in Oshkosh has been so wonderful. The people in stores, restaurants and everywhere couldn't be nicer," Wagstaff told the Northwestern. "It was another reason the whole incident was so shocking to me. The people there are the nicest in the world."