By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — A 44-year-old Wausau man is facing his fifth drunken driving charge after he allegedly struck a woman twice with his driver’s side mirror while in the parking lot at an east side laundromat.

Police were called around 9:15 a.m. Saturday to the Suds Your Duds laundromat on N. Sixth Street in Wausau after a woman reported she was loading her son into the back seat of her vehicle when the driver in the vehicle next to her backed up and hit her in the back with his mirror.

When the woman asked the driver what he was doing, he said he was simply trying to give her some room, court documents show. He then stepped on the gas, moving his vehicle back into the space and hitting the woman in the back a second time, according to the police report.

That’s when the driver backed out of his space completely and left the parking lot, police said. The niece of the woman who was struck took down the man’s license plate number, which led officers to the Chicago Avenue home of Jerrod J. Laporte, according to court documents.

When police arrived, they found Laporte lying on the couch drinking from a half-empty can of beer, court documents state. Laporte told officers he had just started drinking, but when he tried to rise from the couch, he swayed back and forth and nearly fell, police said.

Officers took Laporte to a hospital for a blood draw, the results of which are pending. He appeared Monday in Marathon County Circuit Court, where he faces charges of fifth offense operating while intoxicated and was released after posting a $2,000 cash bond.

Laporte’s prior OWI convictions were in 1993, 1996, 2008 and 2008, court records show.

A preliminary hearing is set for April 11.