APD Officer suspended over crash involving alleged drunk driver - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

APD Officer suspended over crash involving alleged drunk driver

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An APD officer has been suspended for violating policy after he responded to a crash where the driver allegedly left the scene. That driver was a minor who admitted she had been drinking, but she wasn't cited for that or taken into custody.

An APD Internal Affairs investigation found that the officer failed to take appropriate action in this case and furthermore, could have put lives in danger that night.

APD dash cam video shows Officer Shawn Williams responding to a call about a crash near 6th and Brazos on March 2.

The driver of one vehicle called 911 to report that she had been struck by another vehicle.

"She just kept turning and when I tried to swerve she just kept coming," the caller said.

According to the driver, who called police, the two vehicles were turning left at 5th and Brazos when the other driver hit her and kept going.

"The girl proceeded to keep driving, so I drove and found her," the caller said.

She pulled over down the street, outside the Driskill Hotel. When Officer Williams got there he questioned the driver of the white Jetta, who admitted she hit the other driver. He then learns from hotel staff that the girl and her friends were evicted that night for allegedly smoking marijuana.

"Have you been drinking tonight?" Officer Williams asked the driver of the Jetta.

"A little bit," she responded.

"How much have you had to drink tonight?" he asked.

"Two drinks," she replied.

"Two drinks. How old are you?" he asked.

She responded, "19."

"Nineteen? You're not supposed to be drinking at all if you're 19," he said.

Officer Williams only writes her a ticket for the crash, not one for leaving the scene, and takes no action regarding her being a minor who admitted to drinking and driving. He then lets her drive home to San Antonio.

Here's what he tells the driver who called police:

Officer Williams told the driver who called 911, "She seems OK to drive."

"She's not," the woman replied.

"She had a couple drinks, but she's not intoxicated," Officer Williams said.

When she reminds Officer Williams that the driver left the scene of the crash he responded by saying, "Of course that's downtown...people…late at night, driving, being stupid."

"He didn't follow departmental policy. And we tell our officers our policies are there for a reason, to keep them out of trouble. The officer in our opinion should have conducted a proper DWI investigation. That did not occur," APD Asst. Chief Raul Munguia said.

APD Internal Affairs opened an investigation after learning how Williams handled the situation. Williams was suspended for 6 days without pay.

By allowing that driver to leave after she admitted to drinking, Williams was told he put other lives at risk.

"You have no idea what could have potentially happened," Munguia said

Internal Affairs learned about Officer Williams' actions weeks later when the victim in the crash told another officer about it.

Williams has been with the department for six years.

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