A sheriff’s deputy with a checkered past from Okaloosa County, Florida has been charged with a DUI after wrecking his motorcycle in an accident late last week, according to a report from the Northwest Florida Daily News.
The deputy, 48-year-old Ted Cason, has been suspended without pay pending an internal police investigation into Cason’s activities last Thursday night.
That night, a bleeding Cason was found lying on the ground next to his fallen motorcycle around 10 p.m. He refused to take a field sobriety test or an alcohol breath test, according to a news release from the Sherriff’s Office.
According to the police citation, however, Cason smelled like alcohol, had a red face and slurred speech, and also had “glassy, watery eyes.” Sources indicate that Cason also told emergency personnel that he had a few drinks that night.
Surprisingly, Cason also admitted that he had lost his .45-caliber gun, and a search by deputies of the crash scene did not reveal the lost weapon. Oddly, the weapon was later found in a holster that Cason was wearing.
This incident would not have been such big news in Florida had in not been for Cason’s past troubles with alcohol. Since he started work with the Okaloosa County Sherriff in 1992, Cason has had other alcohol-related incidents.
In April 2002, for example, Cason was demoted and suspended for a month without pay for a charge that was labeled “improper use of alcohol off duty.”
This clean euphemism referred to an incident when he ran out of gas on a state highway early one morning and called sheriffs from Santa Rosa County for help. According to the police report from the incident, Cason “left little doubt” that he was too drunk to drive, but had nevertheless climbed behind the wheel.
Strangely, officials from Santa Rose County did not bring DUI charges against Cason because he was not behind the wheel of his car when they arrived.
In his own report, Cason admitted that he had made a mistake, agreed to undergo counseling to address potential problems with alcohol, and promised that such an incident would never happen again.
In addition to this mishap, Cason was also investigated in 2008 after an alleged victim accused him of aggravated assault with a firearm (the incident also included allegations of alcohol abuse).
Fortunately for Cason, though, the victim dropped the charges, and the internal investigation into the matter was never completed.
Finally, in April 2011, Cason left his unmarked car overnight in a public parking lot with a gun clearly lying in the back seat. An alert deputy picked up the car and returned it to Cason’s house. Again, no disciplinary action was taken after this incident.