Judge says protection more important than rehabilitation as Youngstown man sentenced

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Alexander Blandon, who has been arrested or cited 26 times since 2004, told Judge D'Apolito he wanted help for his drug addiction

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Alexander Blandon should be dead.

If not him, Mahoning County Judge Anthony D’Apolito said, then someone who was in his path during his six-month crime spree.

D’Apolito sentenced Blandon, 34, to five years in prison for the crimes.

Blandon had pleaded guilty to 11 charges for three incidents with three different police departments from Sept. 27, 2018 to February 14. The later two happened while he was out on bond.

On Sept. 28, 2018, he led Youngstown police on a car and foot chase. He was only stopped after he was hit with a Taser and police found over 600 painkillers.

In December, he drove a bullet-riddled car through an OVI checkpoint in Boardman, where a woman pleaded with police not to shoot him because he was just drunk.

On February 14, he threatened a state trooper and kicked the cage inside a cruiser after he was pulled over for a suspected OVI on Hillman Street by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Judge D’Apolito called it a “miracle” that neither Blandon or an innocent bystander or law enforcement official was killed or hurt in any of the arrests, or that Blandon never overdosed on the drugs he was taking.

“The thing that is most surprising to me about this case is no one’s dead. Including you,” Judge D’Apolito.

Blandon’s two attorneys, Douglas Taylor and Paul Conn, both said their client deserved prison but asked for a sentence far less than the six years recommended by prosecutors.

The common theme in their client’s cases was drugs, they said, because there were drugs found at all three arrests. They said if given the chance at rehabilitation, Blandon will be able to kick his drug habit for good.

Blandon, who has been arrested or cited 26 times since 2004, told Judge D’Apolito he wanted help for his drug addiction.

“I just want help for my addiction,” Blandon said.

Judge D’Apolito said he tries to help addicts whenever possible, but he added there comes a time when protecting the public from a drug addict’s crimes vastly outweighs rehabilitation.

“When addiction becomes a public danger, I can not focus on rehabilitating the person but protecting the public,” Judge D’Apolito said.

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