CASSOPOLIS — A May motorcycle crash near Marcellus has led to criminal charges against Berrien Springs High School Principal Ryan Pesce. Pesce was in Cass County District Court on Thursday on drunken driving charges, as well as a charge for carrying a weapon while intoxicated.
Pesce, 49, of Berrien Springs, crashed his motorcycle on Memorial Day (May 27) in Wayne Township on Marcellus Highway near Decatur Road when he failed to negotiate a curve. Police said that Pesce’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit and that he was carrying a concealed gun – which he had a license for – while intoxicated.
Pesce was in court Thursday with his attorney, Kevin Banyon, for a pretrial conference after being arraigned on the two misdemeanor charges on July 10. Pesce pleaded guilty to drunken driving and was placed on eight months probation. He must pay $1,000 in fines and costs. The weapons charge was dismissed.
Berrien Springs Superintendent David Eichberg would not comment on Pesce’s latest charges. “Our district doesn’t discuss personnel matters in the media,” he said.
When asked about Pesce’s status with the district, Eichberg confirmed that Pesce remains employed as the high school principal. He did not make any other comment.
Pesce previously appeared in Berrien County Trial Court in October 2017 when he pleaded no contest to one count of domestic violence and was placed on six months probation. That incident stemmed from an altercation with his teenage daughter when she claimed he pushed her and would not let her leave a room.
At that time, he spent his time on probation working in the district’s central office, as he could not have contact with his daughter, who was a student at the high school. The district hired a person to serve as the interim principal on a short-term basis. Pesce successfully completed his 2017-18 probation and the charge was dismissed.