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NYPD officer accused of crashing cruiser drunk

February 29, 2012 3:14:53 PM PST
An NYPD officer is accused of driving drunk in his police cruiser.

You can still see the damage on Schenck Avenue in East New York.

It's the end result of a cop car crashing into a utility pole early Tuesday morning.

The officer behind the wheel, 31-year-old Christopher Morris, who ironically had been to the diner across the street where there was drinking at a benefit for a fallen friend, hero cop Peter Figoski.

He worked at the very same precinct, and was shot in the line of duty last December.

Witnesses say it was 4:20 a.m. when Officer Morris slammed his cruiser into the poll and then the poll hit an SUV.

"He checked himself, like he was shocked that he was still alive I guess after hitting the pole so hard. He came across and kind of shocked and dazed out," said Alexis Mercedes, a witness.

According to a criminal complaint against Morris he had all the signs of driving drunk: slurred speech, red, watery eyes, the odor of alcohol, and an unsteady gait.

He then told investigators, "I was driving and I had a few drinks".

At issue is not only that Morris allegedly started his midnight shift at the 75th precinct after having drinks, but also that he allegedly left his shift on a break, to head back to the party for more.

"Two of the supervisors involved who were working at this command were placed on modified assignment, because there are questions as to the level of supervision," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

Police are now looking at video from a surveillance camera after reports of a passenger in Morris' cruiser, possibly another officer, who got out and ran.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly had some words about police allegedly drinking on the job.

"Obviously we don't tolerate it, you have to be fit for duty at all times, and if you're not, then you're subject to the consequences," Kelly said.

Morris refused to take a breathalyzer test. He is now suspended without pay.

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