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Officer loses job after domestic violence, DUI charges

News reports show that a police officer from Columbia, South Carolina, has lost his job after allegations of drunk driving and other crimes surfaced during one week in mid-July. The man was removed from his post on July 9, according to official reports, after an internal investigation. The man had worked as a narcotics officer for a year at the Columbia Police Department.

Authorities report the man was charged with two counts of criminal domestic violence and a single count of driving under the influence. The man was dismissed after sheriff's investigators from Lexington County and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division accused the man of the misdeeds. The man was accused of fighting with his girlfriend several times during a 24-hour period at two different locations. An anonymous caller alerted authorities to the domestic dispute. The caller said he feared for the victim's life. The caller said he heard the defendant claim that he was going to shoot the woman and then kill himself.

A few hours after the couple was initially questioned, the woman reported the officer had thrown a drink in her face after assaulting her. She had not brought this up during an initial investigation with her boyfriend present, but she sought out police officers on her own. After the domestic violence incident, authorities saw the defendant driving away from the scene. He seemed intoxicated while he was talking to officers before getting in his car, so sheriff's deputies pulled him over and attempted to give him a breath test, which he refused. Not only did the man smell of alcohol, but he was also carrying a pistol in his vehicle.

In this case, the defendant is facing several domestic violence charges in addition to the DUI. He would be wise to consult a criminal defense attorney to determine how to approach his criminal case. These professionals could help the man learn more about his legal rights, including those related to his job loss.

Source:  www.heraldonline.com, "SC police officer fired after domestic violence, drunken driving arrests" Noelle Phillips, Jul. 10, 2013

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