Coty Hoffman resigns from St. Joseph County Police Department

NOW: Coty Hoffman resigns from St. Joseph County Police Department

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.-- A St. Joseph County police officer arrested for allegedly driving his patrol car drunk and getting into a crash resigned from the force.

ABC57 found out Friday that Sheriff Bill Redman was prepared to bring disciplinary charges against officer Coty Hoffman to the County Police Merit Board next week.

But Friday, Hoffman resigned from the department before he could receive punishment beyond his administrative suspension.

"I think that it's definitely concerning because, first of all, he was driving drunk in a squad car," said Stephanie Oldeck, who lives near where Hoffman crashed. "Police officers are supposed to be leading by example. And to have done that in a marked car, that's just terrible in itself."

On Nov. 26, just before midnight, St. Joseph County police officer Coty Hoffman allegedly drove into a mailbox on Hickory Road near Cleveland Road in his patrol car.

According to court documents, a breathalyzer test conducted at the scene showed his blood alcohol level was 0.165 at the time, more than two times the legal limit.

SJCPD said Hoffman was on probation at the time of his arrest for violation of department policy regarding intoxication and impairment while off-duty and for conduct unbecoming of an officer for excessive alcohol use while off-duty.

Plus, ABC57 uncovered more allegations from an ex-girlfriend of Hoffman's, who claims he accidentally fired his department-issued gun in their home while drunk.

A neighbor on Hickory Road, two houses down from where Hoffman crashed, says she worries his resignation is a way to avoid getting in trouble.

"St. Joseph County doesn't have a great rep of holding people accountable," Oldeck said. "If you resign, that's great because you're taking a little bit of responsibility. But at the same time, is the department holding you accountable if you just get to resign and not have those things follow you."

Hoffman is charged with two misdemeanor counts, one for operating a vehicle with an alcohol level of 0.15 or more, and another for OWI, endangering a person.

His next hearing is set for Jan. 20.

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