'Otis the town drunk' arrested for 71st time

Douglas E. Smith believed to be most arrested man in Porter County
2008-12-02T00:00:00Z 'Otis the town drunk' arrested for 71st timeKEN KOSKY
December 02, 2008 12:00 am  • 

PORTAGE | Douglas E. Smith -- the man believed to be the most arrested person ever in Porter County -- was arrested again Thursday.

It was his 71st arrest.

Smith, 49, of 358-A Salt Creek Parkway, Valparaiso, was arrested on charges of public intoxication, resisting and intimidation.

Portage police said they received a call at 1 a.m. Thursday from a resident of one of the lots at 1766 Samuelson Road. Police said Smith apparently went to the wrong home and was knocking on the door and trying to get inside.

Police said they arrived and attempted to arrest Smith on a public intoxication charge, but he resisted arrest and threatened to batter police if they didn't remove his handcuffs.

Smith -- who calls himself "Otis the town drunk" -- said in an earlier interview that he has been arrested for public intoxication so many times that people he sees at taverns occasionally approach him and ask for his autograph. He has spent about half his adult life behind bars.

Smith told The Times he began drinking when he was about 18. Smith brags that he can drink two cases of beer in a day, or can gulp down six bottles of wine or three fifths of hard liquor. He said he has walked around with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.45, enough to put most people in a coma.

Court records show Smith has been treated for alcoholism numerous times, including at least three inpatient stays.

Prior to Thursday, Smith had gone 4 1/2 months without being arrested. His last arrest July 12 was made after police responded to a report of an intoxicated man stumbling around in the area of Hidden Waters and Amanda in Portage. A vast majority of Smith's arrests have been on alcohol charges.

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