NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD is looking into the circumstances surrounding the arrest Tuesday morning of a police officer in Brooklyn.
The department’s Internal Affairs Bureau is taking a closer look at how Officer Christopher Morris, who was arrested in East New York while on duty, crashed into a pole when he was in a police car around 4:10 a.m. at Sutter Avenue and Schenck Street.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria Reports
CBS 2 has learned police colleagues knew the NYPD officer had been drinking before the accident.
The pole hit a parked van and light pole, but there were no injuries. When a police supervisor went to the scene, he smelled alcohol, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported. The van belongs to a pastor in the neighborhood.
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“I seen the impact. I seen when the car hit the light post,” witness Alexis Mercedes told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
Mercedes was already awake during the accident and took a photo of Morris’ patrol car after it knocked the light pole into another car. He said the officer got out and made a phone call.
“He told them he fell asleep behind the wheel…that he fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed into a car,” Mercedes said.
“I see the police car — it hit the back of the van or whatever it was. He came out, jumped out and he was standing there walking back and forth and stuff,” Jeanette Melendez told CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.
Morris, a five-year veteran, was leaving a fundraiser for the daughters of fallen NYPD Officer Peter Figoski, Guzman reported. Figoski was shot in the face and killed during a botched robbery in Brooklyn last December.
The fundraiser took place at the Lindenwood Diner, where many other officers were present.
Sources said Morris was scheduled for duty at the 75th precinct, but stopped by the fundraiser first. That’s when colleagues discovered he was inebriated and sent him to the precinct and put him on desk duty so he wouldn’t be a danger on the road.
However, he allegedly drove back to the diner in a patrol car and crashed when he left the party again, Guzman reported.
Morris, 31, refused to take a breath test and was arrested for DWI. He has been suspended for 30 days.
Sources told CBS 2 and 1010 WINS that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is furious and wants to know why there were so many lieutenants at the fundraiser and why they didn’t try to stop Morris.
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