45-year-old Bremerton man arrested on DUI after crashing into fence

Court documents say Zapatka had previously been convicted of controlled substance homicide

Matthew P. Zapatka was arrested and booked March 19 in Bremerton and charged with possession of heroin, possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription, driving under the influence and driving with a license suspended or revoked in the third degree, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office said.

According to sentencing documents, Zapatka had previously been found guilty for his part in a fatal heroin overdose in 2012.

KCSO responded to the scene of a single vehicle collision into a fence at 7595 Blackbird Drive NE in Bremerton on the evening of March 19. According to the statement of probable cause, Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue responders noted that the individual, later identified as Zapatka, was behaving erratically, moving his belongings inside the vehicle while opening and shutting doors.

When a deputy approached the vehicle, he noticed a pill bottle in the passenger’s seat that had “numerous round pills and a small plastic baggie containing an obvious black substance,” the statement reads. The individual’s hands and feet were covered in what appeared to be black ink. He told the deputy that his wife had just walked home with his son and he was there to pick up his car.

According to the statement from KCSO, a second look in the vehicle found an empty wallet on the floorboard with the contents strewn about. The deputy noticed a debit card with Zapatka’s name on it, which prompted him to request an additional unit. In interviewing witnesses at the scene, deputies confirmed Zapatka had been operating the vehicle.

The incident report stated that Zapatka’s speech was slowed, slurred and his eyes were bloodshot, cloudy, droopy and pupils constricted. When asked if he was prescribed any prescription medications, Zapatka said he takes clonazepam and suboxone daily. Clonazepam is a controlled substance that results in fatigue and impaired judgment, and contains a warning that no one should operate a vehicle while taking the medication.

According to one deputy, Zapatka began to fall asleep multiple times while standing in front of him, which he stated was “behavior that is identical to a heroin user.” The deputy determined that Zapatka was impaired and incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle. He subsequently was arrested for DUI.

Zapatka was transported to Harrison Medical Center for a blood draw. Zapatka was then transported to the Kitsap County Jail in Port Orchard. He is being held on $26,000 bail.

—Tyler Shuey is a reporter for Kitsap Daily News. He can be reached at tshuey@soundpublishing.com