After car stalls, man charged for having mushrooms

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An unfortunate car-stalling led to one Austin man getting charged for possessing hallucinogenic mushrooms Monday.

LeVerne Michael Altenburg, 20, faces a single felony drug possession count. He is currently in custody and awaiting arraignment.

According to a criminal complaint, a police officer driving on 11th Street Northwest Sunday morning noticed a car in front of him stop unexpectedly. The officer pulled over to help the other driver.

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Inside the vehicle, the officer spotted three passengers, one of whom was slumped over and very lethargic, the complaint states. That individual — later determined to be Altenburg — also had orange tinted bags under his eyes and sores around the mouth.

The officer had the three exit the vehicle. He asked Altenburg what was in his pockets, and Altenburg said he had a knife. When he started to reach for his pocket, the officer grabbed his wrist and took control of the suspect. The officer then patted Altenburg down, and a small bag of mushrooms fell from his pocket.

Altenburg said the mushrooms came from his backyard and that they were for “personal use,” the complaint states. Altenburg was then arrested.

The other two passengers were released by police.