Matthew Van McDaniel Gets 9 Years in Prison for Recklessly Driving Drunk Into Jail

Matthew Van McDaniel Gets 9 Years in Prison for Recklessly Driving Drunk Into Jail

Otis, the town drunk from The Andy Griffith Show, famously used to lock himself into a jail cell when he got too tipsy. Perhaps that's what 25-year-old dancer and former jailee Matthew Van McDaniel was trying to do just after 2 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10, at the James A. Musick Correctional Facility in Irvine.

Only McDaniel, who later blew .14 percent, apparently thought the jail had a drive-thru. And a boxing ring.

First, he drove his late model Mercedes Benz S550 through Musick's front gate and got out, but left the car in gear.

The car then hit a tree--Benzing it perhaps. (Thank you . . . try the veal.)

A facility officer rushed over to try to restrain McDaniel, who punched the sergeant in the face and tried to escape.

Come to think of it, Otis never punched Barney or Sheriff Taylor.

McDaniel was restrained by other officers, who caught a whiff of alcohol on his breath when he opened his mouth to speak through heavy slur.

"It's the first time somebody tried to break into the jail," Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino joked at the time.

No joke are the charges McDaniel pleaded guilty to today: one felony count of aggravated assault on an officer, one felony count of an ex-convict entering grounds of a correctional facility, one misdemeanor count of reckless driving, one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol and, one misdemeanor count of driving with a blood level of .08 percent or more. A sentencing enhancement for great bodily injury was found true.

McDaniel probably wasn't laughing at the sentence either. His 2003 prior strike conviction for assault with a deadly weapon was admitted by the judge, who gave OC's Otis nine years in state prison.

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