TWINSBURG, Ohio — A Cleveland police officer who was pulled over on Christmas night on suspicion of driving drunk has been charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
Twinsburg Law Director David Maistros confirmed to 3News that Capt. John Sotomayor, a 30-year veteran, is accused of physical control of a motor vehicle while impaired. He was served and booked Tuesday, and is expected to make his first appearance in Stow Municipal Court on Jan. 14.
Authorities say Sotomayor's pickup truck was stopped on Interstate 480 around 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 25 after 911 callers reported seeing the vehicle "swerving all over" the road and driving on the shoulder. Two Twinsburg officers responded to the scene, and dashcam video shows one saying "He's hammered," and "I think we should turn him in." Sotomayor also allegedly urinated on his seat.
Despite the apparent signs of intoxication, Sotomayor was not arrested and his wife was permitted to come pick him up as a "courtesy." However, his truck and department-issued weapon were confiscated, and his Cleveland police supervisor was notified.
The Cleveland Division of Police says it is aware of the charged against the 52-year-old Sotomayor and that he will be placed on restricted duty while proceedings continue. The Twinsburg Police Department says it is conducting an "internal review" to see if its officers followed protocol.
Should he be convicted, Sotomayor could face up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, and a possible one-year suspension of his driver's license.