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Man found asleep behind wheel at busy intersection

Published On: Feb 12 2013 02:33:02 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 12 2013 02:42:49 PM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

Madison police said a man took oxycodone pills and fell asleep behind the wheel of his pickup truck while it was stopped at a busy intersection on the city's east side Monday afternoon.

A citizen alerted police to the situation after looking into the suspect's pickup truck, which was stopped on East Washington Avenue at the intersection with Lexington Avenue, and saw the driver asleep with his foot on the brake.

A responding officer opened the driver's side door quickly and placed the truck in park before turning it off.

The driver awoke and said he had fallen asleep due to it being too hot in the cab, according to a Madison Police Department incident report.

However, even after he was out in the winter air, he continued to fall asleep while standing and trying to talk with the officer, police said.

Police said a bottle of oxycodone pills was found in the cab. It appears the driver has a prescription, and he later admitted he had fallen asleep several times Monday after consuming the drug, according to the incident report.

Police said they arrested the man, identified as Leland R. Schmidt, 44, of Madison, on a charge of operating a motor vehicle while impaired, second offense.

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  • PHOTOS: Madison store helps collect hundreds of Teddy bears for police

    MADISON, Wis.--A west Madison store is part of an effort to collect hundreds of stuffed animals to donate to six police departments in Southern Wisconsin.

    Todd Merryfield, owner of The Learning Shop at 714 S. Gammon Road, said the store is collecting the bears for officers who use them to help comfort children with whom police come in contact.

    "This is a great way to support what (police) do," Merryfield said. "Those are the kids that need something like this to reassure them, calm them down, and let them know that things are all right."

    Nearly 500 plush animals were donated Tuesday, a Learning Shop spokeswoman said. The Madison store's effort is part of a larger initiative through the Bears for Humanity organization. 

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