Police: Officer Was Drunk When He Hit, Killed Motorcyclist
Sources: Report Shows Officer Was Twice Legal Limit
9:50 AM, Aug 11, 2010
An Indianapolis police officer who struck and killed a motorcyclist on Friday tested positive for alcohol at the time of the crash, police confirmed on Tuesday.Multiple sources close to the investigation told 6News that blood test results for Officer David Bisard show the officer registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit.
Eric Wells, 30, was killed Friday morning when Bisard, who was on duty and responding to a call with his lights and sirens on, said he was unable to avoid striking two motorcycles at 56th Street and Brendon Way South Drive.Witnesses said three motorcycles were stopped at the light and couldn't get out of the way in time. Kurt Weekly, 44 and Mary Mills, 47, both on the other bike that was hit, were in critical and stable condition at Methodist Hospital, respectively.
6News' Jack Rinehart received a text message from Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi on Tuesday afternoon saying he was told by the crime lab that the officer was drunk, but that he won't see the report until Wednesday morning.Police Chief Paul Ciesielski said in a statement that the investigation is ongoing."We are currently working with the prosecutor's office after learning the results of the blood draw for alcohol have tested positive on Officer David Bisard. The investigation in to the crash continues and we will be consulting with the prosecutor's office tomorrow to determine what charges may be filed," he said.In an interview with 6News Wednesday morning, Ciesielski said he's upset about the latest negative incident involving an Indianapolis officer."This was a shock to us. I can tell you that this is being treated like any other person. The investigation is all above board," said Indianapolis Metro Police Chief Paul Ciesielski.Police said Bisard is a nine-year veteran of the department. He and his K-9 partner were not seriously injured in the crash.
Biking Friend Of Victims Angry With Officer, Department
George Burt, 57, was the only motorcyclist involved in the incident to walk away from Friday's crash. He attended Wells' funeral Tuesday.Burt was on the other motorcycle that was not hit by Bisard, investigators said. He watched as his friends were thrown to the ground."Now it makes sense. It wasn't making sense before," Burt said. "It made no sense. How could this happen?"Burt's emotions have swung from considering forgiveness to anger."This guy was drunk. This guy was a public servant. He wasn't supposed to be drunk," Burt said.The military veteran is angry with Bisard and the department, believing others may have known he had a potential drinking problem."Did somebody else know about that problem? Did a brother officer know this guy was drinking?" Burt said.
Man Pursues Lawsuit Against Department
Attorney Everett Powell's client, Timothy Griffith, was in front of the motorcycles when the crash happened, sending bikes and bodies onto his car.Powell said he thinks authorities knew Bisard was drunk at the scene Friday and did nothing about it.
After Griffith left the scene and had left town, Powell said, he got a call from police saying that they forgot to give him a Breathalyzer test and that he needed to come in to do one."My client was obviously in no way, shape or form involved in any of this harm that has been caused, but yet they traveled two hours after this accident to give him a Breathalyzer test," Powell said. "I think the fact that they did that was to try to say maybe my client would have been somewhat a participant in what happened."Griffith planned to sue for negligent infliction of emotional distress. In light of the allegations that Bisard was drunk, Powell wants to change that to intentional infliction of emotional distress.Bisard was involved in five previous accidents while on the force. In 2002, he hit a fence, and in 2003, he slid into another fence.In 2004, another person's car struck Bisard's squad car. Bisard struck a concrete retaining wall in 2005.In 2007, another person's car struck Bisard, police said. All of those accidents were minor and didn't involve injuries.Indianapolis police are under a zero-tolerance policy as it relates to alcohol and city-owned vehicles.The policy, enacted in 2004 after a series of alcohol-related incidents bans all public safety personnel from operating a city vehicle after drinking any alcohol while on or off duty.The policy also prohibits workers from buying or transporting alcoholic beverages in city vehicles.