The Washington State Patrol arrested Tacoma City Councilman Ryan Mello early Sunday on suspicion of drunken driving.
In a brief email to The News Tribune late Monday afternoon, Mello wrote, “I made a mistake and I’m sorry.”
A trooper saw Mello veer onto the shoulder twice before stopping the silver 2012 Hyundai Sonata he was driving at 12:06 a.m. near the interchange connecting Interstate 5 northbound with Interstate 705, patrol spokesman Guy Gill said.
Gill said Mello was “polite and cooperative” and voluntarily submitted to field sobriety tests. The trooper smelled alcohol on Mello’s breath, and the councilman admitted drinking alcohol earlier, according to police reports. At no time did Mello identify himself as a councilman, Gill said.
Three passengers were in the car.
Mello was arrested and taken to the Tacoma Police Department, where he was later released. Gill said Mello’s blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit of 0.08.
The State Patrol’s arrest report was unavailable Monday due to the holiday, the spokesman said.
Mello’s car was impounded, Gill said. A trooper took two of the passengers home, and the third passenger rode with the tow truck driver.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Monday that because he and Mello are friends, he will forward the case to a prosecutor in another county for a charging decision.
Mello is the executive director of the Pierce Conservation District and has been on the Tacoma City Council since 2010.Christian Hill: 253-274-7390