An Amherst man was arrested earlier this week on reckless and drugged driving charges after he sideswiped a truck on Niagara Falls Boulevard – but what was most disturbing to Niagara County sheriff’s deputies was what they later discovered on his smashed cellphone.
It was a text message that read: “I’m stressin’ bad and I want a few to calm me down before I pull the AR out.”
Edward J. Reppenhagen owns two assault rifles – ARs, deputies reported, although he wasn’t carrying them when he was taken into custody Monday afternoon.
Reppenhagen, 26, of Tonawanda Creek Road, was stopped by deputies just before 2 p.m. in the 2300 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard in Wheatfield. He was observed driving on the wrong side of the road and had sideswiped a tractor-trailer before he was stopped, deputies said.
He appeared confused and slow, deputies reported, and was found carrying a jar of urine, which he said he kept for drug testing because he didn’t want anyone to know he takes medications for depression and to help in his recovery from heroin addiction.
Deputies said they also found a smashed cellphone and that Reppenhagen was evasive about whether he had been texting while driving.
Reppenhagen was taken to Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston for a blood test and, while being treated, talked about “feeding a bearded dragon,” deputies reported. It was not clear Wednesday what he meant by that.
Due to the text message and medical issues, deputies contacted Reppenhagen’s girlfriend, who agreed to surrender Reppenhagen’s firearms. They were secured at the Sheriff’s Office.
It was unclear Wednesday exactly what kind of firearms Reppenhagen had, whether he owned them legally and how he got them.
Deputies did not say what kind of drugs Reppenhagen allegedly had taken before his arrest.
He was charged with failure to keep right, moving from a lane unsafely, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, driving an unregistered motor vehicle, operating while impaired by drugs and refusing to take a breath test.
Reppenhagen was arraigned in Wheatfield Town Court and ordered held in lieu of $250 bail.