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Police report cites erratic driving by Minaldi

Last Modified: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 10:37 AM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

An offense report does not say whether a federal judge given an open container citation last month was given a breathalyzer test.

Judge Patricia Minaldi, 55, was arrested Jan. 23 for having an open alcoholic container (in a clear plastic up) in her car, according to a Lake Charles Police Department offense report.

Witnesses said that Minaldi was driving erratically, according to a dispatch report. Minaldi’s speech was slurred according to the offense report.

Minaldi was reportedly taken to police headquarters, where she was given a summons and released.

Minaldi paid the $177 fine on Jan. 27, the Monday following the traffic stop.

The American Press filed with the Police Department a letter under the Freedom of Information Act, requesting the LCPD provide the newspaper with the initial report, whether Minaldi was asked to take a breathalyzer and a copy of the in-dash video.

Lake Charles Police provided the initial offense report and the dispatch report, but did not say whether Minaldi was asked to take a breathalyzer. The video was withheld because it is subject to an ongoing investigation, Sgt. Richard Harrell said in a written response.

“The fact that Minaldi already paid the fine may not be dispositive to all the issues relative of this case,” Billy Loftin, Lake Charles city attorney, said. “This case will be handled in the same manner as all cases in Lake Charles.”

Minaldi declined comment, as did Police Chief Don Dixon.

The call first came in at 1:25 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, according to the dispatch report.

The caller reported a driver headed west on McNeese Street toward S.J. Welsh who was swerving, crossing the center line and attempting to go the wrong way on the interstate. The caller’s name is redacted in the dispatch report.

The dispatch went on to say there were further reports of erratic driving, although it is unclear whether those were from the caller or from police. Minaldi was going 50 miles per hour, either on McNeese Street or south on Weaver Road, witnesses said. Either the caller or police saw Minaldi’s vehicle cross the center line; nearly hit a truck; swerve all over the road while turning onto her street, Fairway Drive; then continue to swerve all over the road, according to the dispatch report.

The traffic stop was conducted in the driveway at Minaldi’s house.

Police initially requested a wrecker, but canceled the request six minutes later.

The offense report said video and audio exists from the traffic stop, as well as video from the police station.

Posted By: Sheena Frank. On: 2/15/2014

Title: LC Citizen

You can see. Patricia Minaldi at Pujo St Cafe daily drinking and driving home! Her car is a permanent fixture there! It's about time she got caught!

Posted By: Allen Martin On: 2/14/2014

Title: Minaldi

You could find her getting trashed at Pujo st cafe. She tried to go the wrong way on the interstate. I've been pulled over and given sobriety test for not signaling 100 ft before a stop sign.( by: Nunez )

Posted By: Never agine On: 2/12/2014

Title: It will neaver happen

She will get away with this like everyone eles in high position in Lake Charles. The police is so corupt its a joke.

Posted By: Ruth Giaimis On: 2/12/2014

Title: Judge Minaldi

If the Judge is drinking this early in the day. I wonder if she was under the influence of alcohol when she was passing sentence in a trial.

Posted By: Legal Eagle On: 2/12/2014

Title: so sick of her friends taking up for her

Driving erratically, driving the wrong way and had slurred speech. Glass houses? Are you kidding me? You idiots that think she did her time, leave her alone, need to have a loved one taken away from you by a drunk driver. You shoukd be charged along side of her for stupidity. I got your rock for my glass house!!

Posted By: Outraged Grandparent! On: 2/12/2014


6 months from now, if Judge Minaldi kills your child or grandchild while driving under the influence of alcohol, who will be held responsible for her death? Will it be no one other than Minaldi, who was behind the wheel? Or will it not also be the Police Officer in charge the night of this arrest, who let Minaldi get off without taking a breathalyzer exam? If that Police Officer was not acting under orders from above, shouldn't the Police Chief share responsibility for not terminating the Police Officer after an IMMEDIATE investigation? Or how about the Mayor, for not termininating the Police Chief in the event the Police Chief doesn't terminate the Police Officer? If the Mayor doesn't act, shouldn't the ENTIRE City Council loudly protest until the Police Chief is terminated and Mayor resigns? If all of the above fails, the responsibility for the death will fall upon the Civic Leaders and Ministers of each Church for not leading an effort to oust the very people we elected to protect us! Oh, and as far as Billy Loftin's statement that "This case will be handled in the same manner as all cases in Lake Charles", isn't it already too late for that statement to be nothing but an outright lie?

Posted By: Citizen Justice On: 2/11/2014

Title: Throwing Rock?

Really? In a city were African American visitors can be stopped, handcuffed and made to stand in rain(2011 Atlanta visitors) for no apparent reason, a white sitting judge who has a reputation for drinking is caught driving while intoxicated, with an open container and she isn't arrested for DUI? If this is throwing rocks, give me a truckload. Judge Minadli has a reputation for HARSH SENTENCING, now it is time for her to face the music. Funny how Chief Dixon has no comment when it's obvious that special treatment was given. So to you" compassionate citizen" go sit in her courtroom and see how much compassion she hands out daily. SHE COMMITTED A CRIME...Chief Dixon is quiet on this one. Any other citizen would have been arrested for DUI and it printed in the paper in the police blog. Throwing rocks? NOT REALLY JUST WANTING JUSTICE TO EQUALLY DOLED OUT...ESPECIALLY WHEN THE ALLEGED CRIMINAL IS SOMEONE WHO DOLES OUT LIFE CHANGING SENTENCES HERSELF.

Posted By: Compassionate Citizen On: 2/11/2014

Title: Nice People!

Wow! Some people have nothing to do except "Throw Rocks"!

Posted By: concerned mother On: 2/11/2014

Title: she she deserves what is coming to her!!!

I hope this comes out!!!

Posted By: Concerned Citizenship On: 2/11/2014


Wonder how many people she put in jail for dui? Oh right, the laws that apply to us ordinary citizens don't apply to her!

Posted By: Private citizen On: 2/11/2014


She should have had the book thrown at her and put in jail for DUI like everyone else she has past judgements on. This is b.s. That she got special treatment for breaking the very laws she is paid to uphold.

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