CHANDLER, AZ - A Chandler police officer suspected of driving to work while under the influence has been stopped before for DUI, according to police officials.
Officer Lonnie Morris, a 19-year veteran with the Department, was arrested Sunday for suspicion of driving under the influence, while on his way to the First Baptist Church of Chandler for an extra-duty shift, according to Seth Tyler, spokesman for the Chandler Police Department.
Morris has since been placed on paid-administrative leave, while the police department investigates. A spokesperson with Chandler police said the officer was stopped for a DUI back in 2003.
In that incident, the officer was off-duty and wasn't arrested, however, he was suspended for 40 hours and required to seek treatment.
George Rose, a Chandler dad, said he was on the road with his son when the officer went speeding by.
"“It was a close call. I was scared; my son was scared. It was frightening for both of us,” he said. Rose said the driver of the squad car disregarded a stop sign, nearly hitting his car.
Rose said he thought the officer was in pursuit of someone, but noticed there were so flashing lights or sirens.
"It's like he couldn't make up his mind if he was slowing down or speeding up. He was taking two lanes at one time. Just very erratic driving,” he said.
The Chandler Police Department said it is still investigating the incident. They are waiting for lab results to determine the officer's BAC to see if he impaired while driving.