Houston police officer arrested for DUI on paid leave

HOUSTON -- A veteran Houston Police officer is on paid leave after being arrested for allegedly driving under the influence.

Officer Marcus Ryans was charged with DWI on Monday. Records show a passerby saw a person asleep at the wheel in the 8000 block of South Loop East.

When police showed up around 12:30 a.m. Monday morning, they allegedly found Ryans asleep in his personal car in a moving lane of traffic.

He was arrested, but because the alleged DWI occurred while he was not on duty, the Houston Police Officers Union is not representing Ryans.

"I can tell you the officer is a member here. He has not been in here to request any type of legal representation, and he probably wouldn't since it's not in the course of his job, so there is not representation here as far as criminal charges would go," said Ray Hunt, President of the HPOU.

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ABC13 went to Ryans' apartment. Out on a $500 dollar bond, he answered the door in his boxers.

Ryans confirmed to Eyewitness News that he is an HPD officer. When we asked whether he was recently arrested for DWI, he said, "I'll talk to you later, okay?"

Then he shut the door.

Ryans, who was hired by HPD in 2006, currently works in Southeast Patrol. According to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Ryans may be able to keep his job, depending on how this case is resolved in the court system.

"On a first DWI if there is no accident involved, they can get pretrial diversion. With pretrial diversion there would be no criminal conviction. Without a criminal conviction, their chances of him keeping his job is very good," said Hunt, who added that it would be an entirely different matter if the alleged DWI occurred when the officer was on duty.

"I don't know any officer who's kept his job, if they were arrested while on duty," said Hunt.

Officer Ryans is currently on paid leave pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs Investigation.

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