HPD officer fired over DWI, crash into school bus

September 15, 2011 4:28:41 PM PDT
Houston police announced Thursday that they have indefinitely suspended an officer who was legally drunk when he crashed into a school bus earlier this year.

HPD Sergeant Ruben Trejo was fired on August 19. The 20-year veteran of the police force elected not to appeal the police chief's decision and retired instead.

To this day, Teresa Argueta maintains her eyes did not deceive her the day Sgt. Trejo crashed his car into her school bus back on April 13.

"He smelled drunk. He got beer and wine open in the car," Argueta told Eyewitness News the day of the accident.

Trejo wasn't charged with DWI until almost two weeks later. Our questions prompted HPD to launch an Internal Affairs investigation into how this accident was handled and whether the investigating officers tried to cover for Trejo who was legally drunk. His blood alcohol count was .176 -- more than twice the legal limit.

"There was no investigation or any type of inquiry based on information that was provided to the department from folks who were at the scene," said Chief M. Dirden.

On Thursday afternoon, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland announced he indefinitely suspended Sgt. Trejo. The chief says the fate of the officers involved in that accident investigation will be decided very soon.

"I have and am reviewing the evidence, all the facts, and have taken the opportunity to speak with the supervisors on the scene, so in the next several days, clearly there will be a final decision," said Chief McClelland.

Argueta was ticketed that day for failure to yield. She told us Thursday that the ticket was dismissed.

In the police department's eyes, Trejo was fired. So it'll be up to the pension board to decide whether he gets retirement benefits.


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