It's common knowledge lawyers love to golf but ...
Omaha attorney Randy Paragas, prominent in representing drunken drivers, wound up in the hospital after breaking into the Eagle Run Golf Course pro shop early Friday because, he said, he was disoriented and freezing and wanted to summon police.
Omaha police say they found Paragas in a stupor in the pro shop, tearing open a box of women's Footjoy golf shoes. Paragas said he suspects someone might have drugged him before he broke into the pro shop.
He said he broke two ribs — slightly perforating his lung — and cut his head after tripping over a pyramid of ladies' golf shoes inside the shop.
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said he is awaiting police reports. Paragas has not been arrested or charged.
Police listed the case as a suspected burglary, a felony.
However, Kleine said, Paragas' actions most likely do not constitute burglary because it “doesn't appear there was an intent to steal anything.” An Eagle Run golf pro agreed, saying he didn't believe Paragas had any malice.
Kleine said the case could be referred to the City Prosecutor's Office to determine whether Paragas should face a misdemeanor trespassing charge.
Paragas, 49, said he had eaten dinner at a restaurant near 132nd Street and West Maple Road. He then went to Cigarros for drinks.
Paragas said he doesn't know for certain what happened between 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.
He said he might have lingered inside Cigarros after 2 a.m. Eventually, he said, he found himself outside, drunk, disoriented and “freezing cold” in a dress shirt, slacks and tie.
About 4:30 a.m., security alarms sounded at the pro shop, just across a private drive from Cigarros. Police responded.
When officers initially found Paragas in the pro shop, authorities say, he was drunk and told officers he lived in an apartment above the pro shop.
After Paragas was taken to Immanuel Medical Center, authorities say, he told a detective that he yanked the pro shop's doors open because he was cold, couldn't figure out where he was, his cell phone was dead and he knew that police would come if he tripped the alarm.
He relayed the same account to a reporter.
The golf pro said Paragas did no damage beyond knocking over the pyramid of golf shoes. He said the golf shop was in the process Friday of getting new doors to prevent intruders.
Authorities say a breath test measured Paragas' blood-alcohol content at .15 — nearly twice the legal limit for driving. However, Paragas said he hadn't driven after drinking — and police say they found no evidence that he had.
His vehicle was found parked in the Cigarros lot.
Paragas said he suspects that “something was slipped into my drink.” He said he couldn't believe he would be “that far gone” at .15.
Paragas was a .15 when he was arrested for drunken driving in 2009 — an offense that occurred while he was representing New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain on the same charge. Paragas successfully completed probation after that DUI.
Paragas said he regretted the incident and planned to go to the golf course and “apologize to them and make any restitution.”
“In no way was it a burglary,” he said. “I was just trying to get warm. I really think that somebody might have slipped something in my drink. . . I just regret that it happened. That's not how I am.”
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