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Man driving on rim charged with 4th OWI

June 22, 2010

A man whose car started on fire after he rode through Wauwatosa on three tires and a rim has been charged with drunken driving for the fourth time.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Frank Donaldson, 73, of Milwaukee told an officer he wasn't aware his rear driver-side tire was missing. But the rim was almost completely ground down and sending a shower of sparks down North Avenue when the car was pulled over in the 12200 block at 9:31 p.m. Thursday.

"The disc brake was glowing a molten red and yellow, and I observed a small flame coming from the brake caliper," the officer said.

The Fire Department doused the car's wheel well with water to put out the fire.

When the driver got out of the car, he smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet, falling backward onto the grass.

He said he had been drinking cognac for the past five hours and was driving to a bar on 124th Street and North Avenue.

Donaldson refused to take a breath test.

He was charged on Friday with drunken driving, fourth offense, a misdemeanor. He is out on a cash bond and expected to appear in court Aug. 4.

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