MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – A Miami-Dade Police officer and his supervisors are under an internal affairs investigation after the officer, Fernando Villa, was discovered passed out and drunk in his patrol car in the middle of an intersection in West Kendall.
But unlike a normal drunk driver arrest, Villa was not placed in handcuffs and booked into jail.
Instead, he had to simply sign a form promising that he would appear in court, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
The move by the supervisors on scene to allow Villa to avoid jail contradicted an order from Miami-Dade Police Director Jim Loftus to treat Officer Villa like anyone else in that situation.
Director Lofftus released a statement late Friday afternoon addressing the Villa situation; it read in part:
On rare occasions, an officer will choose to stray from his/her ethical standards and commitment to protect and serve the public. It’s disappointing and embarrassing when that occurs. This goes against the very grain of what we stand for and enforce, and it clearly demonstrates that no one is immune from apprehension for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Villa has been relieved of duty with pay while the internal affairs investigation is underway.
Villa had been a member of the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Special Response Team at one point in his career, the Herald reported.