Law enforcement in Portsmouth, Virginia accuse a former deputy sheriff of driving under the influence, hit-and-run and assault. The Portsmouth Sheriff Office reportedly fired the deputy less than five-and-a-half hours after the arrest, apparently based solely on the unproven allegations.
Law enforcement reportedly fielded calls that reported a car accident in the Churchland area around 2:15 in the morning November 2. Police say that the callers claimed that a BMW was dragging a utility pole down the road on High Street in Portsmouth. More calls came in, suggesting that the same vehicle had progressed to the area of Reese Drive and Castle Way.
Officers arrived in that area and found a BMW. Police ultimately arrested the male driver of the BMW on suspicion of hit and run and DUI. However, during processing after the DUI arrest, the list of charges grew to include allegations that the deputy had assaulted a Portsmouth Police officer.
The former deputy reportedly was fairly new with the sheriff's office. Authorities say that the 31-year-old Portsmouth resident had just completed deputy training in May.
Police reportedly made the arrest shortly after 2:15 in the morning, and the deputy was fired by 7:30 a.m. A spokesman for the sheriff's office says that "The Sheriff moved so quickly with termination due to the assault charge on a law enforcement officer," according to the Virginian-Pilot.
While the sheriff's office moved quickly on the allegation, the man has the right to defend against the charges in a criminal case. The government is not entitled to a criminal conviction based solely upon allegations, and a criminal defendant remains innocent unless, and until, proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The Virginian-Pilot, "Portsmouth deputy charged with DUI, hit and run," Patrick Wilson, Nov.3, 2012
- WAVY 10 On Your Side, "Deputy charged in DUI, officer assault," Rachel West, Nov. 2, 2012