Crime tech arrested for DUI after crashing police cruiser
Posted: Feb 17, 2012 8:29 PM EST | Updated: Nov 5, 2014 5:42 PM EST
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A South Bend police lab technician was arrested for taking a brand new police cruiser for a joy ride while he was drunk.
Police say 27-year-old Chad Hiatt now faces a DUI charge and a misdemeanor charge for taking the squad car without permission.
Police say that sometime before 5:30 a.m. on Friday morning Hiatt came to the South Bend Police Department after a night of heavy drinking. Hiatt then decided to take one of the brand new police cruisers for a ride.
While most employees, who are not sworn police officers, do not have access to the squad cars, Hiatt was an exception. Hiatt is a technician in the department's crime lab and often worked on equipment inside the cruisers. "Part of his duties were addressing issues with the mobile video recording devices. That was part of his job description, so access to the squad cars is necessary," says Capt. Phil Trent.
According to the accident report obtained by ABC 57 News. Hiatt drove to 58750 Crumstown Highway in St. Joseph County. Hiatt then turned off the highway and onto a winding dirt road. The report goes on to say Hiatt was traveling at an unsafe speed down the muddy drive and lost control. Hiatt swerved of the road and hit a tree head on before slamming the back in of the car into a metal Crate.
"Although it is a brand new car, I am being told that it can perhaps be salvaged and it's probably because the car is brand new," says Trent.
Still, the report says it could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 to fix the cruiser. The undercarriage, the front and rear bumpers, as well as the trunk lid were all damaged.
Police say that over the next three days, they will discuss whether Hiatt will still have a job after the incident.