I-Team: Pointe Coupee Sheriff launches internal investigation - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

I-Team: PCPSO launches internal investigation into crash allegedly involving police officer

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NEW ROADS, LA (WAFB) -

The Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating why Capt. Mark Munson with the New Roads Police Department was not given a breathalyzer exam following a vehicle crash he was involved in Friday night while he was off-duty.

The accident scene was within New Roads city limits but a Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Deputy was called in because New Roads needed another agency to investigate the crash.

According a police report, Munson was driving south on N. Carolina Avenue around 12:30 a.m. Friday, swerved into the left lane, hit a ditch and damaged a culvert. 

The responding deputy wrote in his report, "I noticed a 200 ml bottle of Seagram's Gin in the center console.  The bottle was about 3/4 the way empty.  After taking to Capt. Munson, I could smell a slight odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath."

Even though the deputy said he found an open container and suspected alcohol, he never gave Munson a breathalyzer and Munson walked away without any charges.

It's why Pointe Coupee Sheriff Bud Torres asked the State Police to step in and investigate the matter.  

The deputy wrote "Because I am not DWI certified or field sobriety certified and no one on my shift is certified in either category I was unable to perform an alcohol test on Capt. Munson."

"Our job primarily is criminal.  We do some traffic but in recent years, the Carter Academy, where our deputies go to school and go to, they do not certify them in intoxilizers," said Torres.

The deputy reported by the time he made it out to the crash scene, the damaged tire on Munson's personal truck had been replaced and Munson's wife came out and drove the vehicle and her husband home.

This is Munson's 2nd wreck this year.  The first was in February with a side swipe. 

"As police officers, we pride ourselves on honesty and dignity so of course at all times, I encourage all our officers to be honest," said New Roads Police Chief Kevin McDonald.
"There are people out there saying it's the buddy system, that's why he walked away without any charges," said WAFB's Kiran Chawla.  "Your response to that?"
"No, we do not operate on a buddy system," said Chief McDonald.

The sheriff said he plans to talk to witnesses and responding officers before deciding whether to file any charges against the captain.

WAFB called Capt. Munson for comment, he said he did not want to say anything. 

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