Man sentenced for drunken court ruckus

A 47-year-old Gardnerville man who caused a drunken disturbance in East Fork Justice Court last week was sentenced Wednesday to four months in Douglas County Jail for disorderly conduct.

"I totally blacked out," Perry Ballard told East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl. "I have no recollection."

Rather than repeat what Ballard said, EnEarl wrote down the obscenities and handed them to the defendant.

"You were so disgustingly drunk and your vocabulary was so foul," EnEarl said. "There's a court staff here that doesn't need to put up with that. I won't tell you what you called me."

Ballard described himself as "a mentally-ill-type of alcoholic."

Ballard hurled profanities at EnEarl, the court reporter and the court clerk. Then he threw a boot at Chief Probation Officer Doug Swalm, striking him in the forehead. He was so drunk he had to be carried to jail.

Ballard showed up intoxicated Dec. 27 for a hearing on a failure to appear citation.

Court officials placed him in the jury box where he fell asleep. He went into a rage when he awoke, breaking a chair and biting the top off a microphone and throwing the boot at Swalm.

EnEarl also said Ballard tried to flush his clothes down the toilet at the jail and backed up the system.

"If I conducted myself in that manner when I drank, I would never drink again," EnEarl said. "Yet, you drove under the influence. That's what bothers me."

Swalm argued against placing Ballard on house arrest.

"What if he decides to go off the wagon and blacks out? I go to the door and he shoots me or hurts me," Swalm said.

The judge said he needed to lock up Ballard to protect the community.

"I accept that," Ballard said.

EnEarl told Ballard he could request placement in an alcohol treatment program.

He also ordered him to undergo mental health counseling.


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