Today’s winner is Pinellas County Police Sgt. John Daniels. He gets the award for the following–
TARPON SPRINGS – A Pinellas County deputy stopped a car early Sunday driven by a Pasco County deputy who smelled of alcohol and was allowed to call someone to pick him up, according to a report.
Sgt. John Daniels was using radar to monitor traffic about 1 a.m. Sunday when he noticed a 2007 Dodge Charger going about 100 mph on Keystone Road near Ranch Road, the report states. The speed limit along that stretch of Keystone is 45 mph, the sheriff’s office report states.
Daniels then saw the car pass vehicles in a no-passing zone, the report states. By the time he managed to catch up with the vehicle, it had pulled over in a turn lane at County Road 611 and a passenger, Pasco County Deputy Kent Hentschel, 24, was urinating outside the car in full view of other motorists, the report states.
Daniels stopped and saw Hentschel look in his direction and then continue urinating, the report states. Daniels then asked the driver, Pasco County Deputy Jose Berrios, 25, for his license, proof of insurance and registration, the report states.
That’s when Berrios and Hentschel identified themselves as Pasco County sheriff’s deputies.
As the sergeant spoke with Berrios, he noticed that Berrios smelled of alcohol and had glassy eyes, the report states. Berrios was asked how much he had consumed, and he said one or two drinks, the report states.
Berrios also was asked why he was driving so fast, and he didn’t have a good answer for that, the report states. Both Pasco deputies admitted they had been drinking and were on their way home.
Daniels told Berrios he wanted to give him a breath test and that if Berrios failed, someone would have to be called to give him a ride, the report states. If he passed, Daniels told him, he could continue driving, the report states.
Berrios said he would prefer to call for a ride without undergoing the breath test, and he was allowed to do so, the report states. Daniels waited for the pair’s ride, and after he made sure the driver was not intoxicated, he allowed the two to leave, Daniels said.
The report did not indicate a speeding ticket was issued.
Two off duty police are recklessly speeding and probably DUI, but Sheriff Daniels lets them without a breath test. How very nice, I make a bet the general public doesn’t get that kind of treatment, nor should they. As I often say, the motto of police is very often ‘To serve and protect….our own’.
Pinellas County Police Sgt. John Daniels is today’s Knucklehead of the Day.