WAPAKONETA — A young Marine has learned a long and inconvenient lesson courtesy of a night of drinking that led to a criminal case that finally ended Tuesday.
John Martens, 22, was placed on one year probation, ordered to pay $500 restitution and fined $100 for damage caused to the Democratic headquarters in Wapakoneta by punching out a window during an alcohol-related incident.
Martens appeared in Auglaize County Municipal Court on Tuesday to be sentenced on the charge of misdemeanor criminal damaging. He flew in from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina the night before on his own dime to receive his punishment.
Dressed in his service uniform, Martens had little to say to Judge Gary Herman, who lectured him about the ills of drinking.
“You should never put yourself in a position you and your choices are changed by alcohol and who you are, are changed by alcohol,” Herman said.
He told Martens he understood the various aspects of alcohol, which has led many people to get in trouble, including other Marines, but said it should serve as a lesson to drink in moderation and maintain control of oneself.
“You put yourself through a lot of grief because of what happened that night,” the judge said.
The judge also warned Martens should he get in future trouble, he could face up to 90 days in jail. Martens also may have an obligation to pay the total cost of damages, which was reported at $1,400. The insurance company paid the other $900, Herman said.
Martens punched out a window at the Democratic Headquarters at Auglaize and Perry streets on July 29. Police reported he was drinking at a nearby bar and left on foot.
Martens cut himself and left blood on the window glass. Martens told people they had no idea what he had witnessed while on duty in Afghanistan, police reported.
A police officer reported hearing Martens make comments about a Muslim, possibly referring to President Barack Obama, who some say is a Muslim. The president denies he is a Muslim.