Mayor's son arrested

Released this morning on bond

Ryan T. Langfelder, son of Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, was released from the Sangamon County Jail this morning after being arrested by University of Illinois Springfield police on suspicion of driving under the influence, a misdemeanor, and possession of a controlled substance, a felony.

The mayor's son was pulled over shortly before 1:30 a.m. by a University of Illinois Springfield police sergeant who saw a Ford SUV driven by Langfelder, 24, run a stop sign at the intersection of South 11th Street and Ernest Hemingway Drive. "While attempting to catch up to the vehicle, I observed it constantly driving on the shoulder of the road, not in the southbound lane of traffic," the sergeant wrote in his report. Before stopping Langfelder, the sergeant wrote, the SUV continued driving on the shoulder and swerving. The vehicle also failed to stop at a second stop sign, and the sergeant reported seeing a can being thrown from the driver's window.

The sergeant reported there was a yellow,  powder-like substance on Langfelder's lap when he approached the SUV after stopping it just west of South 11th Street and Toronto Road. After asking for a driver's license and proof of insurance, Langfelder three times tried handing over the vehicle's registration documents. "I asked Langfelder what he had thrown out of the vehicle at the last intersection, and he told me that it was a cigarette," the sergeant wrote in a report. "When I told Langfelder that it looked like a can, he admitted to me that it could have been an can. I asked Langfelder  what the can was, and he eventually admitted it was a can of Natural Light Beer." The yellow powder on his lap, Langfelder said, was dirt, according to the sergeant's report.

Instead of taking nine steps, as directed, on a walk-and-turn sobriety test, Langfelder took 18, the officer reported, and he also had difficulty maintaining balance. When asked to stand on one leg, he put a foot down five times, the sergeant reported. Langfelder refused a portable breath test, a screening device to gauge alcohol levels that is not considered reliable enough for results to be admitted in court, but admitted drinking. He was placed under arrest at 1:48 a.m.

Several times, the sergeant reported, Langfelder asked for a lawyer, and he was told that he didn't have to answer questions without his attorney present. Once arrested, Langfelder agreed to a breath test but sucked in air instead of blowing, the sergeant reported. Ultimately, a test revealed a blood-alcohol content of .081 percent, barely above the legal of .08 percent.

The sergeant reported that when he told Langfelder that his driving had been far worse than could be expected by the blood-alcohol content revealed by the test, Langfelder said that he'd had seven beers at Obed and Isaac's and felt intoxicated, but not hammered. Did you take any drugs, the sergeant reported asking Langfelder, who responded that he'd taken Xanax after leaving Obed and Isaac's at 10 p.m. The sergeant said that Langfelder told him that he'd been taking a half-pill every 30 minutes. "I asked Langfelder about the crushed Xanax on his lap at the time of the stop, and he stated he was not sure how that got there," the sergeant reported. "I asked Langfelder how much Xanax he had taken tonight, and he could not give me a straight answer."

Concerned about Langfelder's intoxication level, the sergeant called for an ambulance, then allowed him to drink water and use a bathroom. "When Langfelder stood, he swayed and could not maintain balance, so we instructed him to remain seated for his safety," the sergeant wrote in his report. After arriving and taking Langfelder's vital signs, an ambulance crew determined he didn't need hospitalization. Langfelder refused a blood draw to determine the level of drugs in his system. Police recovered three-and-a-half pills of suspected Xanax from a pocket of Langfelder's jacket.

Arrestees booked for felonies typically are required to make a court appearance, but Langfelder was released from shortly before 8:30 a.m. after a judge signed approval papers, hours before he otherwise would have appeared in court. The judge's identity isn't clear.

Sara Vig, Langfelder's lawyer, could not be immediately reached for comment. In a written statement, Mayor Langfelder asked for privacy.

“As all parents do, we face difficult moments with our children, and we hope they learn the lessons in those instances. I am no different," the mayor said. "As an elected official, my family is thrust in the public eye and their life – the good and the bad – also receives public attention. As prominent as my job is, I am also a husband and father.

"I understand people will have their own opinions about this situation. But I also know this is a reality some families go through daily throughout this community, and it is a struggle for those impacted.

"Right now this is going through the process, and I hope people can respect my son’s privacy."

Contact Bruce Rushton at

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