Questions surround LMPD officer’s D.U.I. , assault arrest

Questions surround LMPD officer’s D.U.I. , assault arrest

Officer Joseph Pence was charged with assault, wanton endangerment and driving drunk after police arrested him on Sunday.

Print
Email
|

by WHAS11

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 24 at 1:34 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (News Release) -- A Louisville Metro Police Officer is on administrative leave, accused of hitting a man with his car while driving drunk.

Officer Joseph Pence is out of jail, but there are some questions about how his arrest was handled.

Most suspects are brought to Metro Corrections within a matter of minutes after being involved in a suspected drunk driving incident that ends in an assault. However, records  obtained by WHAS11 indicate when Pence was picked up early Sunday morning, he wasn't officially booked at the jail until five hours 33 minutes later.

During the early morning hours Sunday, Pence allegedly used his car as a weapon to hit and injure another man. A police report indicates the altercation first began near the intersection of Bardstown Road and Bashford Manor Lane.

According to the police report, Pence was off duty in his personal vehicle and had been drinking alcohol. The report indicates about a mile from the initial confrontation, Pence struck the victim, Jason Taylor, with his car, injuring his hip and rib cage.

While it's unclear what time the alleged assault occurred, an LMPD Public Integrity Unit officer was contacted at 4:20 a.m. The officer took a statement from Pence's girlfriend indicating Pence had been drinking. He also noted Pence smelled strongly of alcohol and had glassy, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.

Pence was officially arrested at 6:30 a.m., according to the report, yet he was not booked into Metro Corrections until 9:53 a.m.

To charge a suspect with D.U.I. in Kentucky, a blood or breath test has to be administered within four hours.

We took a look at about three dozen other D.U.I. arrest slips from the weekend and noticed most of those reports indicated breathalyzer test readings, alcohol or drug involvement and incident time. None of that information was included on Pence's arrest report. Neither was his place of employment.

Pence was released on his own recognizance three hours and 15 minutes from the time he was booked.

We tried to talk to him at his apartment Monday, but he wasn't there. When we later reached him by telephone, he said he was not at liberty to comment about the incident.

When asked if blood samples had been taken or a breathalyzer test has been administered on Pence, LMPD spokesperson Dwight Mitchell said a blood test and Breathalyzer were administered, but could not comment on the results since it is an ongoing investigation.

Pence has been an LMPD officer for three years. He’s currently assigned to the second division.

Print
Email
|