Police Confirm: Beto O’Rourke Tried to Flee DWI Crash Scene in 1998 | NTK Network Police Confirm: Beto O’Rourke Tried to Flee DWI Crash Scene in 1998

Police Confirm: Beto O’Rourke Tried to Flee DWI Crash Scene in 1998

Speaking out for the first time publicly, two officers involved in the case told the Texas Tribune that Beto O’Rourke attempted to flee the scene of his 1998 DWI car accident.

By NTK Staff | 04.24.2019 @12:30pm
Police Confirm: Beto O’Rourke Tried to Flee DWI Crash Scene in 1998

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-TX) 1998 DWI arrest became national news last year when the El Paso Demcrat ran unsuccessfully against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). O’Rourke addressed the incident then and did so again in a Vanity Fair story published just before his presidential campaign announcement.

But for the first time, the police officers involved in O’Rourke’s arrest are speaking on the record about what they remember from that late September night more than 20 years ago.

The incident report filed at the time by the Anthony Police Department stated that O’Rourke “attempted to leave the scene” of the accident after his Volvo struck another vehicle while traveling at a high rate of speed. O’Rourke’s vehicle wound up in the highway median facing eastbound on Interstate-10, according to the police report.

The arresting officer, Richard Carrera, told the Texas Tribune, “I stand by my report,” adding that he had “no doubt that [O’Rourke] tried to leave the scene.”

Carrera’s former supervisor, Gary Hargrove, says he doesn’t remember being at the scene, but he stood by Carrera’s report.

“He did something to lead the officers to believe that he was trying to get away,” Hargrove told the Texas Tribune. “What they put down, I believed them.”

Police arrested O’Rourke, who blew a .136 and .134 blood alcohol level reading on breathalyzer tests administered at a police substation. The legal limit at the time was .10, and today it is .08.

Amazingly, the Tribune reported that this was not the first time O’Rourke attempted to flee the scene of a crime:

According to a heavily redacted narrative of his May 1995 burglary arrest by the University of Texas at El Paso Police Department, O’Rourke and two associates allegedly broke into the yard of the facilities management building at the school, triggering an alarm.

One of the officers who responded to the scene said he saw “three subjects in the middle of the compound running in three different directions.”

The details of this story were widely available to Texas voters during O’Rourke’s 2018 Senate campaign, in which he lost by about 3 percentage points. Whether these new developments will impact O’Rourke’s political prospects on the national stage is an open question. In national polls, O’Rourke averages about 6.3 percent support, according to RealClearPolitics.

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