Photo: Drunk, Half-Dressed Cop Passes Out in Squad Car, Blames Concussion he Received 13 Years Ago
A Miami-Dade police officer who was found in his squad car half-dressed and unresponsive eventually told police he was unconscious, not because he was drunk, but because of a sports injury he received more than a decade ago.
Officer Fernando Villa, 32, was arrested last week after another officer found him drunk and passed out in his cruiser. The officer called for medical assistance when he realized Villa was unresponsive. The official police report says that when Villa awoke, the officer who had stopped to check on him encountered a very strong smell of alcohol and had Villa perform a roadside sobriety test.
Villa, who was off-duty at the time, failed miserably, but said it was not because he was drunk. He claimed his altered consciousness was due to a baseball injury he’d suffered at least 13 years prior while he was in high school. He then refused to take any additional sobriety tests.
Though he was determined to be intoxicated, Villa was not arrested, but instead allowed to go home after signing a form saying he would appear in court.
Today, the internal affairs bureau is investigating both Villa and the supervisors who were called to the scene, as they failed to take him into custody despite Miami-Dade Police Director Jim Loftus’ orders to treat him “like everyone else,” and book and arrest him.
Thursday, Loftus told the Miami Herald, “Someone along the line decided to depart from my specific directions. We’re going to discover the identity of the person or persons and hold them accountable.”
Department policy states that only in instances of low-level misdemeanors are “promise to appear” notices given in lieu of physical arrest. Finding Villa apparently drunk and passed out in his idling squad car, facing a DUI, should not have been one of those instances.
It was not clear how Villa got home the night of the incident.