A Texas police officer has been arrested and suspended while being investigated for a DWI and an incident where he provided a firearm to a felon.
Fort Worth Police Officer, Daniel Gonzalez was forced to turn in his badge and gun, Monday, following a drunken tirade, where he and felon, Bobby Newton, shot a firearm carelessly into the night. A Tarrant County constable alerted the police after seeing the two shooting at stop signs and traffic lights, according to WFAA News.
The shooting began around 4 a.m. and the off-duty constable said he saw Gonzalez shoot a gun into the air, hitting a street lamp. Newton then fired shots from the same gun into a street sign, according to the constable. He followed them to a nearby IHOP and called the police.
The gun was not a police-issued firearm, according to the Star Telegram.
The two men were reported as drunk, when they were questioned that night inside IHOP. Gonzalez, 35, who joined the police in 2002, was off-duty and arrested around 4:30 a.m., according to a police spokesperson. Newton, 26, had previously served time for drug possession, burglary and theft. He now faces charges of possession of a firearm by a felon and discharging a firearm within city limits.
In a statement, Police Chief Jeff Halstead said that such behavior will not be tolerated.
“We have made great strides in addressing this national trend of alcohol uses and abuse by law enforcement officers,” Halstead said. “Unfortunately, it only takes one negative incident to undermine our accomplishments and successes.”
More than a dozen Fort Worth police officers have been punished for DWI since 2008 and many of them were fired, according to WFAA. One of them even ended up causing a fatal car crash and was fired.
“We will continue our efforts to address this tough issue through training, education and employee assistance programs,” Halstead continued.
He also said he will take decisive disciplinary action whenever the public’s trust and safety are jeopardized.