Platte City man accused of driving drunk through cemetery, knocking over a headstone

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PLATTE CITY, Mo. -- A Platte City man is facing serious charges after celebrating a Royals victory Wednesday night. According to court records, the 21-year-old used the Platte City cemetery as his own personal race track.

Jacob Erpelding admitted he was out drinking, celebrating the Royals win. Police and prosecutors say what he did after was worthy of criminal charges. Erpelding is in the Platte County jail thanks to an alert witness. Police say the good Samaritan called 911 about 9:30 Wednesday night to report an erratic driver in the cemetery.

"Kind of weaving in and out of the headstones, doing donuts, eventually knocking over a headstone," explained Assistant Platte County Prosecutor Nick Hinrichs.

The witness also said the car was speeding and jumping hills. The aftermath was still visible Thursday. Even though just one small headstone was damaged, prosecutors take desecration of a cemetery seriously.

"That's how we feel about this case, we've charged felony property damage claim and a driving while intoxicated count," explained Hinrichs.

Hinrichs says this case is unique because it involved a suspected drunk driver in a cemetery, but it should serve as a reminder and a warning. Getting behind the wheel after you've been drinking is unacceptable, and celebrating a Royals playoff win is not an excuse.

"I realize this is a very unique situation for everyone in Kansas City and everybody's out having a great time, but you really need to maintain composure and be as responsible as you can, especially when it comes to drinking and driving, because all it takes is one mistake to change somebody's life," cautioned Hinrichs

Court records say Erpelding denied everything at first, but then admitted to driving through the cemetery. He failed several field sobriety tests and took a breathalyzer test. He was nearly twice the legal limit according to police. He's still in jail on a $7,500 dollar bond.