ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A St. Petersburg police officer is facing DUI charges after he was arrested early Tuesday morning.
A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy found Officer Anthony Green asleep behind the wheel in the southbound lane of Gulf Boulevard at Madeira Way Monday night, officials said. The vehicle was stopped, according to the sheriff’s office.
Officer Green was driving his personal car. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail at 3:33 a.m.
St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway said he learned of Green’s arrest Tuesday morning. “This department will not tolerate this,” Holloway said.
Green was suspended without pay. “He’s not going to sit at home and collect a salary while we’re doing this investigation,” Chief Holloway said.
Holloway said Green refused to take a breathalyzer test. “He refused to blow, so automatically his license is now suspended for a year. He can’t drive my car. He can’t drive our cars so he can’t be here,” he said.
Officer Green was hired by the St. Petersburg Police Department in February 2005. He was sworn in as an officer in November of the same year.
This is Green’s second DUI arrest. Officials said in 2009 Green was behind the wheel of his own vehicle when he became involved in two hit-and-run crashes. Both were related to alcohol, officials said.
Green was suspended in September 2010 after a departmental internal investigation. He was given a second chance and allowed back on the streets after the suspension.
“He made a mistake the first time and hoped he found the right thing to do – but he didn’t. He was out there drinking again. We’re not going to tolerate that because he represents all of here at the St. Pete Police Department,” Holloway said.
The chief said officers have the right to due process when they’re arrested.
Some taxpayers said Green should have been let go the first time
“I don’t know. Sounds to me that maybe they need to get another one and get him some help,” Resident Bonnie James said.
Department officials said in the last five years six officers have been arrested for DUIs.
Chief Holloway released an inter-office memo on Tuesday stating that from this day forward, any employee charged with committing a felony violation or select misdemeanor violations may be immediately suspended without pay until the resolution of the criminal case.
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