Last month, I wrote about a sad case in Ohio involving police officers who, instead of arresting an obviously drunk man, instead dropped him off at a Taco Bell to walk it off. The man did--to his death, after being run over on a nearby highway.
Now, amazingly, the officers who dropped him off are facing criminal charges.
Two Delaware County deputies and a State Highway Patrol trooper are facing charges almost two months after they failed to arrest a drunken man who spoke little English and left him at a Taco Bell. Not long afterward, the man was struck and killed by a vehicle.
The charges, which are misdemeanors, were filed yesterday. The deputies and trooper were cited specifically from the Ohio Revised Code for failing "to prevent or halt the commission of an offense or to apprehend an offender, when it is in the law-enforcement officer's power to do so alone or with available assistance."
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Deputies Derek Beggs, 29, and Christopher Hughes, 27, had found 22-year-old Uriel Juarez Popoca drunk in his truck in an I-71 median in Delaware County on July 28.
The deputies did not arrest Popoca, although one of them said he was intoxicated, according to a cruiser video released Aug. 31 by the patrol. Trooper Sean Carpenter, 37, who arrived at the scene shortly after the deputies, also did not arrest Popoca.
Instead, Beggs and Hughes drove Popoca, who was a native of Mexico, to the Taco Bell on Rt. 36/37 and left him there because "they gotta have someone in there who can interpret," one of the deputies said in the video.