CASA GRANDE — A Pinal County Superior Court judge who was pulled over on New Year’s Eve by a Casa Grande Police officer is seeking treatment for high blood pressure.
According to a Casa Grande Police report, Presiding Superior Court Judge Stephen McCarville, 59, was pulled over by an officer around 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 after the officer noticed him drift toward the median on Pinal Avenue. The officer stopped him after McCarville turned left onto McMurray Boulevard and didn’t use a turn signal.
As the officer was talking with McCarville he reportedly noted an odor of intoxicating beverage coming from the vehicle and that McCarville’s eyes were bloodshot and watery.
According to the report, McCarville told the officer he consumed maybe two or three drinks. McCarville also told the officer that he had received a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine and taken a baby aspirin earlier in the day. He also notified the officer that he wore glasses but did not have them with him.
The officer had McCarville exit the vehicle in order to complete a field sobriety test; as McCarville started to open the car door, he forgot to put the vehicle in park and the car rolled forward. McCarville then put the vehicle in park and exited the car.
The officer noted that McCarville stumbled and swayed as he performed a field sobriety test. But when the officer had McCarville breathe into a preliminary breath testing device, the device returned a blood alcohol content result of 0.018, below the legal limit of 0.08.
According to the report, the officer had McCarville transported to the police station for further testing and to have his blood drawn. As the officer was inventorying McCarville’s vehicle, he noticed an open can of hard seltzer in the driver’s side door pocket, which was about three-quarters full. McCarville later told the officer that he had not been drinking from it and had placed the drink in the door pocket to take it home.
At the station, the officer had McCarville take another preliminary breath test; this time the results returned as 0.000.
The officer also noted that McCarville’s pulse and blood pressure were extremely high.
“I became concerned after taking McCarville’s blood pressure,” the officer wrote in his report. Especially since McCarville had told him that he had not been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
The officer recorded pulse rates of 142, 144 and 118 beats per minute and a blood pressure of 200 over 90, according to the report.
A normal resting heart rate for an adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. A normal blood pressure is considered to be anything under 120 over 80.
He had another officer come into the room and administer the same tests. That officer recorded a pulse rate of 130 and blood pressure of 180 over 80.
According to WebMD, symptoms of high blood pressure can include fatigue or confusion, vision problems, and dizziness, among others.
The officer noted that the symptoms could be from ingesting a central nervous system stimulant but believed the findings were likely connected to an unknown health condition.
“The most concerning to me was the extreme high blood pressure levels. I have been a (Drug Recognition Expert) for three years and have never experienced this high level of blood pressure,” the officer wrote in his report. “It is possible that McCarville has an unknown, underlying medical problem that could have (affected) his ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The case is pending blood results.”
The officer reported his findings to McCarville and a family member who came to pick him up from the station and suggested that McCarville seek medical treatment soon.
Casa Grande Police spokesman Thomas Anderson stated in an email that the multiple tests with similar results taken by the two officers showed that the medical equipment was working properly.
Anderson also said that since McCarville did not seem to be in medical distress or request medical attention, officers did not call for medical personnel or transport him to the hospital. They did notify McCarville of the results and advise him to contact his doctor.
McCarville responded through a spokesman for the Arizona Supreme Court Administrative Office of Courts. He contacted the Administrative Office of the Courts about the traffic stop immediately after it occurred, said Aaron Nash, the communications director for the office.
Nash said McCarville also followed up with his doctor and is now being treated for high blood pressure.
“There is no indication that his driving was affected by anything he ingested,” Nash said.