"Jap" Clemens' Trouble With Traffic Laws

Attached are a pair of attachments containing articles reporting on the reckless driving of racer Fred "Jap" Clemens while in everyday traffic on the public streets of Indianapolis. An interesting point here is that we begin to establish a behavioral pattern as the articles cover two separate accidents spanning two years.
The first article (attachment ClemmonsWreck051307) was published in the May 13, 1907, Indianapolis StarClemens, who is identified as a "chauffeur and speed artist" was headed north on Capitol Avenue at a speed reportedly approaching 40 mph. At that time, this was probably seen as tremendous speed. The article indicates that he began honking his horn as reached the intersection with 15th Street. At that point, he swerved to the right to avert a collision with another car and in doing so wrecked into a buggy parked curbside.
The article asserts that Jap had "run over people before," but does not cite specifics. In this incident, an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Paddock of 515 East Twenty-first Street were at least slightly injured. Mr. Paddock is quoted as saying he had been a railway conductor for 25 years but had not seen a wreck as serious.
Witnesses reported that Clemens was doing "stunts" while driving. The injured couple was attended by a physician and the woman, the article says, showed no sign of injury. It's unclear how hurt her husband was, but my guess is that he was fortunate as well. The article reports that police sources viewed Capitol Avenue was "a place for violation of the speed laws as well as for pleasure driving since it was made a boulevard." Also, Clemens was reportedly working for Stoughton Fletcher Jr. of the famous Hoosier banking family. 
The second attachment, ClemensNews061809, contains an Indianapolis News article from June 18, 1909, just over two years after the first one. Clemens was in trouble again, and this time there is strong reason to believe he was driving under the influence of alcohol.
In the 1909 incident, Clemens was driving another car and this time slammed into a horse-drawn dairy wagon. The horse was killed. The milkman was N.T. Fisher and the accident took place on South Meridian Street. The milk wagon was reportedly turned over, burying Fisher under a pile of bottles.
As with the accident two years prior, Clemens was in the employ of Fletcher which is an interesting point. The car was described as "suggestive of a broken shredded wheat biscuit," so we can guess there was some significant body damage.
Clemens ended up in court facing charges of intoxication, violating speed limits as well as assault and battery. Clemens hired an attorney, C.C. Pettijohn. Pettijohn sought to have the drunkenness charge withdrawn on the grounds that "the charges of being drunk was twice alleged." This sounds odd, but perhaps there were two such charges and he wanted one eliminated. Regardless, this effort failed.
Testimony was recorded that Clemens was driving at "tremendous speed" early in the morning and abruptly turned to pass a streetcar. Apparently, he had not seen the slow-moving horse-drawn wagon. He apparently went for an opening between the street car and the wagon that was not wide enough. He clipped the street car and slammed into the wagon. Police reported that Clemens was intoxicated and they could smell liquor on his breath.
Clemens denied being drunk but admitted sharing two pints of beer with two friends. They were at the English Hotel cafe. My guess is that the accident occurred in the early hours of the day and Clemens had been out all night. The contention was that Clemens had only consumed about two-thirds of a pint of beer.
Presiding Judge Whailon suspended any penalty for drunk driving, which could have resulted in jail or some kind of enforced labor serving the community. He was fined for the other infractions with total payment coming to $61.00.
Clemens was a Hoosier racing star in the first decade of the 20th Century. Among other things, he won races at the Indiana State Fairgrounds including setting a 24-hour speed record with Charlie Merz driving for National Motor Vehicle Company.

ClemmonsWreck051307.pdf184.35 KB
ClemensNews061809.pdf616.44 KB