The big story this week was the two police officers with multiple Orange County DUI cases.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â The following is my mix of stories from the OC Register, OC Weekly, and other sources:
Anaheim police officer Kevin Noel Schlueter was charged today with driving under the influence of drugs after crashing into four parked cars. It’s the 37-year-old Costa Mesa resident’s third DUI, and not to be confused with the DUI charge brought against Orange County sheriff’s deputy Mark Wayne Hewlett, who is accused of being drunk, losing control of his car and crashing into a planter in the front yard of Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell‘s Villa Park home.
Both cops were driving their own cars, not police cruisers.
In the first DUI case against Schlueter, he is accused of driving erratically and weaving through lanes on the 405 freeway near Westminster Boulevard while under the influence of drugs at about 9:30 p.m. on March 18, 2009. A witness called 9-1-1, and Schlueter nearly crashed into other cars on the road, including a California Highway Patrol vehicle that responded to the call.
Schlueter showed signs of drug intoxication once he was pulled over, including shaking hands, red and watery eyes, slurred speech, and lethargic appearance, according to the CHP report. He was allegedly under the influence of the prescription drugs hydrocodone, hydromorphone, phenmetrazine, phendimetrazine and carisoprodol.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) charged Schlueter on Sept. 1, 2009, with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs.
At about 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2010, Schlueter is accused of driving on Oakridge Lane in Huntington Beach while impaired and under the influence of drugs. His car crashed through the back yard fence of a residence, and when officers arrived, he was still sitting in the driver’s seat with the engine running.
Again, cops say he showed signs of drug intoxication, including slurred speech, a lack of coordination, and a lack of balance. He was allegedly under the influence of hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meprobamate and carisoprodol.
The OCDA on Friday charged Schlueter with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs in the second case.
Finally, Schlueter was driving on Cabrillo Street in Costa Mesa at about 1:40 p.m. on March 2 when his car crashed into three parked cars. He is accused of then reversing his vehicle–and crashing into a fourth parked car.
This happened outside an ambulance company, and a witness at the company put Schlueter in the back of an ambulance until Costa Mesa police officers arrived at the scene.
Cops say he had red and watery eyes and was incoherent and lethargic. He is accused of being under the influence of phentermine, carisoprodol and oxycodone.
Sounds like a certain Orange County police agency better check its drug evidence locker.
Schlueter was charged today with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs. He could get up to two years and six months in jail if he is convicted of all three offenses, according to the OCDA.
He is scheduled to appear Friday at West Justice Center in Westminster for a pre-trial hearing for the 2009 case and arraignment for the two 2010 cases.
SANTA ANA Ã¢â‚¬â€œ An Anaheim police officer resigned Tuesday amid a department investigation and after being charged with driving under the influence of a cocktail of prescription drugs for the third time in less than a year.
The officer, who hasn’t been to work since late 2008 but remained on paid administrative leave, has pleaded not guilty in one case of driving under the influence from an incident last March. The two latest charges were filed last week and Tuesday.
Kevin Noel Schlueter, 37, of Costa Mesa, is charged in three separate cases with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs for each case.
Schlueter’s three DUI arrests were first revealed earlier this month by the Register.
If convicted in all three cases, Schlueter faces up to two years and six months behind bars. Schlueter is scheduled to appear in court Friday.
Schlueter had been on leave since November 2008 for what department spokesman Sgt. Rick Martinez said was “a variety of reasons.” Personnel rules prohibit him from giving specifics, Martinez said.
Schlueter’s leave had been unpaid at first. But then in November 2009, months after Schlueter’s first DUI arrest, Anaheim officials put him on paid administrative leave.
After Schlueter’s arrests were publicized by the Register, Anaheim police issued a statement saying:
“The Anaheim Police Department is cooperating with the OC District Attorney’s office in its prosecution of these cases and we have contacted the Department of Motor Vehicles regarding the officer’s future driving privileges. We are also expediting our internal investigation into this matter in order to reach a decision concerning the officer’s employment as soon as possible.”
Schlueter resigned from the department Tuesday, Martinez said.
Schlueter’s trouble behind the wheel appears to have started on March 18, 2009, when he was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol after nearly slamming into a CHP squad car. Several drivers had called 911 to report a possible DUI driver at the wheel of a silver Chevy Tahoe on the 405 freeway that night, said CHP Officer Ray Payton.
Dispatchers sent a CHP officer ahead of the possible drunken driver weaving in the slow lane to wait for him to drive by, according to the report. The Tahoe drove by Ã¢â‚¬â€œ careening onto the right shoulder of the freeway and coming within a foot of hitting the waiting CHP squad car, the report said.
The officer watched as the Tahoe weaved from side to side, nearly colliding with a Range Rover. The CHP officer pulled the Tahoe over and after doing field sobriety tests on the driver, later identified as Schlueter, arrested him, according to the CHP report.
According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Schlueter is accused of displaying signs of drug intoxication including “shaking hands, red and watery eyes, slurred speech, and appeared lethargic.” Prosecutors accuse Schlueter of being under the influence of prescription drugs that impaired his ability to drive including hydrocodone, hydromorphone, phenmetrazine, phendimetrazine, and carisoprodol.
Someone came to pick up Schlueter at the CHP office. On Sept. 1, 2009 prosecutors filed one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence. Schlueter pleaded not guilty.
On Jan. 21 prosecutors say Schlueter was driving on Oakridge Lane in Huntington Beach around 9:30 p.m. when he crashed his car through the backyard fence of a home. He sat in the driver’s seat with the engine running until Huntington Beach police showed up, according to prosecutors.
Again Schlueter is accused of showing signs of being under the influence of drugs, including “slurred speech, a lack of coordination, and a lack of balance.” According to prosecutors, he is accused of being under the influence of prescription drugs that impaired his ability to drive including hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meprobamate, and carisoprodol.
Schlueter was arrested and later released. Last week prosecutors charged Schlueter with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs.
On March 2, Schlueter was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after crashing a 2010 Jeep Liberty into four parked cars on his own street in Costa Mesa in the middle of the afternoon.
According to prosecutors, Schlueter crashed into three parked cars, reversed his Jeep, and crashed into a fourth parked car while backing up.
The crashes ripped the right wheel off the axle of Schlueter’s Liberty, according to Costa Mesa police Lt. Rob Sharpnack. The Liberty also suffered rear bumper damage, Sharpnack said.
An employee of an ambulance company saw the accidents and put the injured Schlueter in the back of the ambulance and waited for Costa Mesa police officers to arrive, according to prosecutors.
Again, according to prosecutors, Schlueter showed “objective” signs of drug intoxication including “having red and watery eyes and being incoherent and lethargic.” He is accused of being under the influence of prescription drugs that impaired his ability to drive including phentermine, carisoprodol, and oxycodone.
Schlueter was treated at the hospital for his injuries and released. On Tuesday, prosecutors charged him with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs Ã¢â‚¬â€œ his third such charge in less than a year.
An Anaheim police officer who lives in Costa Mesa is accused of driving under the influence of prescription drugs three times in the last year, with his latest alleged incident happening in Costa Mesa last week.
Kevin Noel Schlueter, 37, faces three misdemeanor DUI charges. He has already pleaded not guilty to an alleged DUI in March 2009, when prosecutors said he nearly hit a California Highway Patrol car on the 405 Freeway in Westminster.
In January of this year, prosecutors said Schlueter crashed his car into the backyard of a home in Huntington Beach and sat in his car until police arrived. In that case, he was also under the influence of prescription drugs, authorities said.
The officerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most recent arrest came Thursday in Costa Mesa, where heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s accused of hitting four cars while again under the influence of prescription drugs.
Schlueter is scheduled to be arraigned for the two most recent arrests Friday. He faces up to two years and six months in jail if convicted on all charges.