MIDVALE — An off-duty Midvale police officer was issued a citation for investigation of DUI over the weekend after hitting several parked vehicles on a residential street.
About 2:30 a.m. Sunday, police received several calls after a Dodge Charger, an unmarked Midvale Police car, hit a parked vehicle in the area of 4600 South and 3000 East, continued on, and hit a second parked car that was pushed into a third vehicle, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson. Damage to all vehicles was significant, he said.
When deputies arrived, they received information that alcohol may be involved. After giving the driver a field sobriety test, as well as collecting additional evidence, the man was issued a class B citation for DUI. He was not booked into the Salt Lake County Jail. Hutson said the Midvale officer was cooperative.
The sheriff's office declined to release the officer's name Tuesday. However, several sources have told the Deseret News it's Sgt. John Salazar, who has worked as the Midvale Police Department's public information officer for many years, giving numerous interviews to the Deseret News and other media outlets.
Detectives also received information there was a passenger in the vehicle when the accidents happened. Deputies were tracking that person down on Tuesday.
ETA: Another link:
Holladay residents say alleged drunk cop crashed into parked cars
November 3rd, 2009 @ 1:35pm
By Andrew Adams
HOLLADAY –– Neighbors in Holladay are demanding answers after a possibly drunk Midvale cop slammed into their parked cars on Halloween. It happened along 3020 East near 4700 South.
Megan Short heard the crashing sound and ran out to find the man, who had been driving a black Dodge Charger, talking on his cell phone and apologizing that he had "hit the curb."
"My car had been sideswiped," Short said. "[The neighbor's] truck had been hit, rear-ended, and pushed across the lawn and into the driveway and hit [another] neighbor's car."
Short told KSL Newsradio she smelled alcohol and observed a woman leaving the car on foot before officers arrived. Midvale police were first to the scene, followed by Salt Lake County sheriff's deputies. Short said the Midvale officers told her they were responding to a call from a neighbor.
Short was surprised when she learned from deputies the driver was an officer.
"We were actually making a few jokes about the fact he was wearing a ‘Cops' shirt," she said. "We thought, well this is not a good night to be wearing that when you're going to be dealing with the police for drinking and driving."
Short simply wants answers. She wasn't told who the officer was, and she said the city has been slow to respond.
"We just haven't heard anything, and nobody would answer questions about the officer," Short said. "We don't know who he was; no personal information was exchanged."
The Midvale City Attorney confirms to KSL a briefing has been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon to shed more light on what happened.
I was just in Midvale two weeks ago. Man I need to go back, I was drunk most of the time
" Neighbors in Holladay are demanding answers..."
Answer: Dude got drunk and crashed, Duh.
UPDATE: Cop resigns
HOLLADAY –– A longtime Midvale police officer, department spokesman Sgt. John Salazar, resigned Tuesday after he was cited for a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. The citation came following an accident in Holladay on Halloween night.
Investigators say Salazar was behind the wheel in a drunk driving accident on Halloween night. Around 1 a.m., he crashed into several cars along 3020 East near 4700 South.
"The side of it had been smashed in from being side-swiped," said Meagan Short, who's PT Cruiser was hit in the accident.
In addition to Short's vehicle, a pickup truck was also hit. The impact of the crash was enough to break its axle.
The crash also damaged the front end of Salazar's Dodge Charger.
"The whole hood of the car was pretty much gone," Short said. "Both airbags deployed. The windshield was cracked. I was concerned when I first came out. I asked if anyone was hurt because I didn't think anyone could get out of the car."
She said she knew immediately that the driver had been drinking.
"We could smell it. It was without question, from smelling it on him and seeing him," Short said.
Midvale police arrived first, even though neighbors had called the sheriff's office. Deputies got there shortly after and took over the investigation.
"We plan on making sure this is a very thorough investigation and that a very thorough packet is presented to the Holladay city attorney, and they can make appropriate decisions from there," said Salt Lake County sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson.
"We do believe alcohol was involved," Hutson continued, adding that Salazar is expected to be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, a class B misdemeanor.
Midvale City Attorney Craig Hall said the city will pay to repair the damaged vehicles. He called the entire incident a tragedy and said Salazar had been on the force 13 or 14 years. He said Salazar was a competent, capable and exemplary employee.
That's fine with Short, but even so, she's still frustrated with the situation.
"It's disappointing to know that those that we want to respect and are supposed to protect us are the ones that cause this type of thing," she said.
The Sheriff's Office has confirmed there was a female passenger who left the scene before officers arrived. They are questioning her at this time.
What a dumbass.