A 31-year-old Houston man is behind bars on a felony charge of
driving while intoxicated after being arrested late Sunday, accused of
his third DWI.
Houston police started pursuing Trent Margiotta after he
allegedly ran a red light while making a u-turn on South Dairy Ashford
about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. Court records show he drove recklessly at a high
rate of speed while gesturing with his middle finger at the officers.
After being stopped, officers noticed the strong odor of
alcohol, unsteadiness and red, glossy eyes. While slurring his speech,
Margiotta allegedly threatened to strip and strangle a male police
His attorney, J.L. Carpenter, said she is investigating
the allegations and is waiting to see the results of a blood or breath
test before commenting on the case.
During a probable cause hearing Monday, prosecutors with
the Harris County District Attorney's Office said Margiotta was
aggressive toward police and told them he would get off easy. He said
they would pay when he got out of jail.
After being transported to the police station and asked
how much he had to drink, Margiotta allegedly laughed and said he was
not drunk enough. He also volunteered that he loved cocaine, but had not
taken any drugs recently, court records show.
He was charged with felony DWI because he had been
arrested in 2011 and 2012 for DWI and pleaded guilty in both cases. If
convicted, he could face 10 years in prison.
He remains in the Harris County Jail after a magistrate judge set his bail at $25,000.
Prosecutors had asked for no bail after reviewing Margiotta's long criminal record.
When he was arrested Sunday morning, he was free on a
$25,000 bond after he had been accused of choking his girlfriend in
He was arrested on that charge three months after having a
domestic violence case dismissed because he took an anger management
course. In that case, he was accused of hitting a different woman with
whom he had a dating relationship.
Margiotta's first arrest was in 2008 for throwing an
object through a woman's window and fleeing police. In that case, he
escaped convicted by completing six months of probation.
He also escaped conviction in 2009 after successfully spending a year on probation after hitting a man with his car.
In 2010, Margiotta was arrested for lying to police
officers about whether he was the driver of a car involved in a wreck.
The circumstances of that case are not clear from court records. The
case was dismissed after his attorney showed there was not an underlying
criminal investigation, which is an element of the crime.
Brian Rogers is the Legal Affairs Reporter for the Houston Chronicle. Follow him on twitter.com/brianjrogers