Clearwater officer suspected of driving drunk didn't get DUI, report says
CLEARWATER (FOX 13) -
An off-duty Clearwater police officer who drove after a night of drinking was pulled over by two other officers, and instead of a DUI, got a ride home, according to documents released by the department.
The Clearwater Police Department released the internal affairs reports Wednesday.
One report says Officer Nicholas Capogna was drinking at a bar along Clearwater Beach on January 23. Witnesses say he stumbled out of the bar into his car and took off.
Other witnesses reported seeing him swerving, and saw him nearly hit a cab.
The witnesses called 911. Sgt. Sean Allaster and Sgt. David Young responded and pulled him over near Drew Street and Hercules Avenue.
The officers said they could tell he had been drinking, but did not do sobriety tests, according to the reports.
They ended up giving Officer Capogna a ride home, the reports say.
Days later, the matter came to the Clearwater Police Department’s attention when one of the witnesses posted on Facebook about the incident, saying “How about a conference on your officer that committed a DUI three nights ago and wasn’t arrested, but driven home?”
After investigating, the department suspended Officer Capogna for five days, and they are now requiring him to take random drug tests.
Sgt. Allaster and Sgt. Young told investigators that what they did for Capogna “…is nothing we haven’t done for any citizen we don’t know.”
Allaster and Young will each be suspended for one day.
The police department says it is now requiring every officer to do a test if they think the driver is drunk.
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