A San Antonio police sergeant and six other members of the force are under investigation after the sergeant crashed a patrol car into a highway wall early Thursday and the others tried to cover up the incident, Police Chief William McManus said at a news conference Monday.
The 20-year veteran of the Police Department, off-duty and possibly driving while intoxicated, sideswiped a wall near East Josephine Street around 5:30 a.m., McManus said. The sergeant then walked several blocks to a building, where a security guard called police.
“A number of improprieties” were discovered involving a lieutenant, three other sergeants and two officers who responded to the scene, McManus said.
There was an “attempt to take the sergeant home and to remove what could be evidence from his vehicle,” McManus said.
The incident came to the Police Department’s attention through an officer who was present but did not take part and is not being investigated.
The sergeant who crashed the car had worked the night before, and some of his officers responded to the crash, McManus said. Results of blood and urine alcohol-level tests administered later that day were not released.
McManus declined to name the seven involved but said they are not facing charges at this time, pending ongoing criminal and administrative investigations.
“It is in the midstages, and we are moving aggressively forward on both,” he said.
The sergeant has been put on administrative leave, and the six others are on administrative duty.
The car had minor damage. But McManus, known to take a hard stand against DWI, said he is not taking the incident lightly.
“My concern is for the integrity and reputation of the Police Department,” he said.