Phoenix

DesertExile: Just another DUI arrest?

02 August 2006

Just another DUI arrest?


PHOTO: Daily Blabber.I village.com

The head of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department civilian oversight office said Tuesday that he has concerns about what motivated sheriff's officials to try to conceal Mel Gibson's anti-Jewish statements and belligerent behavior from the public and is troubled by the department's initial description of the arrest as uneventful.

At the same time, Mike Gennaco, who heads the Office of Independent Review, said an initial review of the case found that no laws had been broken and that the arrest had been handled within departmental policy.

Still at issue is whether Gibson — who issued a second apology Tuesday explicitly acknowledging that he had made anti-Semitic remarks and asking to meet with Jewish leaders — was given special treatment by sheriff's officials because of his celebrity status.

Sheriff's Department officials confirmed to The Times on Tuesday that a uniformed deputy drove Gibson from the Malibu-Lost Hills station to a tow yard to retrieve his Lexus LS sedan after he was released on bail Friday morning. Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said the 10-mile ride in a marked patrol car was not unusual.

"We do this for someone from time to time at all of our stations," he said, adding that officials decided to drive Gibson to avoid a confrontation with gathering media.

But one department source, who asked not to be identified because of the case's sensitivity, said it was a courtesy rarely extended to other suspects at the station.

Gennaco expressed surprise that Gibson had been driven by a deputy and said he would look into it. He said the decision to drive the actor could well be within policy, depending on why it was made.

Earlier in the day at a news conference outside his office in Commerce, Gennaco criticized the department's initial handling of the case. Reporters were not initially informed of Gibson's profane outbursts, attempt to escape custody and repeated threats to the arresting deputy. Instead, Whitmore initially described the arrest as "without incident."

"If I described what I know about the arrest, I'm not sure I would have used those words," Gennaco said.

In his comments Tuesday, broadcast live by cable and local media, Gennaco confirmed that the part of the arrest report detailing Gibson's "increasingly belligerent" behavior had been removed from the original report and purposely placed in a supplemental document by station-level supervisors. However, Gennaco said he had found no evidence so far that the decision had been directed, or even discussed, by Sheriff Lee Baca or other top officials.

Gennaco said it was not necessarily unusual to break an arrest report into more than one part, adding that it is sometimes done to protect the integrity of an investigation.

"Was the modification of this report done in a way so that the disclosure of information to the public would somehow be altered?" Gennaco asked. "I don't have the answer to that question."

Gennaco said that his probe was in its early stages and that he still had "some concerns about the access to that information."

Gibson was pulled over about 2:30 a.m. Friday by Deputy James Mee, who said the actor was driving more than 80 mph in a 45-mph zone on Pacific Coast Highway. Mee said he smelled alcohol on Gibson's breath and asked him to submit to Breathalyzer and field sobriety tests. According to sheriff's officials, Gibson's blood alcohol level measured .12% at the scene; the legal limit is .08%. An open bottle of tequila, one-quarter empty, was found in the vehicle.

In a part of the arrest report leaked last week to the celebrity website http://www.tmz.com , Mee wrote that after Gibson realized he was going to be arrested, he grew uncooperative and abusive. Gibson "blurted out a barrage of anti-Semitic remarks" and told Mee: "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Then he asked Mee, who is Jewish: "Are you a Jew?"

SOURCE:http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-me-gibson2aug02,0,7019522.story?coll=la-home-headlines

From 30 years of arresting DUI drivers, aboutr 5,000, there are some things that I can talk to that are ignored:

1.The way you see a person act at .10 BAC ( Blood Alcohol Content)--is the true personality of that person. A lot of people just dismiss it as "Oh, he had a few" or "He was just blowing off steam".
No, at .10, the person's INHIBITIONS fall away. They no longer restrain or caution themselves that this impulse could cost them dearly.

2. Gibson was arrested at 0239 hours. If the Deputy had a Pre-Alcohol Sensing device, the .12 BAC result MIGHT be valid. If it took until 0430 to get him booked, this lends credence to that result.

3.Sheriff's Department officials confirmed to The Times on Tuesday that a uniformed deputy drove Gibson from the Malibu-Lost Hills station to a tow yard to retrieve his Lexus LS sedan after he was released on bail Friday morning. Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said the 10-mile ride in a marked patrol car was not unusual.

"We do this for someone from time to time at all of our stations," he said, adding that officials decided to drive Gibson to avoid a confrontation with gathering media.


B.S! You DO NOT take someone home or to a tow yard. Normal people burn off alcohol at .025 per hour. This is STUPID on the Sheriff's part.
Now he is down to .08. If the Sheriffs did this, it is a perfect defense to the charge of DUI.

4. Mel will not have a license for 6 months.California State Law dictates that after the person gives a sample over.08, the Arresting Officer MUST seize the person's driver's license and give the Arrestee a document stating that the Arrestee can appeal the suspension.
Makes the Sheriff's move of taking him back to his car even more stupid.

5. I'm almost 99% certain that there is an Audio and/or video recording og Gibson at the arrest site, and another in the Jail. You learn that if you are an officer the most common trait of drunks is that they lie. They lie to their friends, themselves, and hours or days after the arrest, to your supervisor. A standard arrest of handcuffing and being put in a back seat becomes Rodney King Beating #2.

SO--you get yourself a tape recorder, and you record EVERY drunk. I carried a recorder in my shirt pocket from 1974 to 2001. That tape recorder saved me about 100 times, and illustrated that Drunks WILL lie. There are ALWAYS tape Recorders (Video and Audio) in Jails. A favorite past time of inmates is creating stories of "Brutality".

6. Mel looked far more intoxicated than .12 BAC. Why did everyone offer him a ride? Just to be close to him? No, they all knew he was S--tfaced!

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