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Richfield police officer suspended after second arrest for drunk driving

Officer John Hetzel was found sleeping in his car at a Richfield business with a loaded gun inside.
Credit: KGW

RICHFIELD, Ohio — The Richfield Police Department has announced that Officer John Hetzel has been suspended following his arrest by the Ohio State Highway Patrol on Wednesday night for operating a vehicle while under the influence, refusing to take a blood alcohol concentration test and having a weapon while under the influence.

Hetzel was off duty when Richfield police officers responded to a call about a person sleeping in a vehicle in the parking lot of a Richfield business. Officers reported they found Hetzel asleep in the driver’s seat with the vehicle running.

Richfield police requested the assistance of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Troopers responded to the scene and reported that Officer Hetzel both refused to take any blood alcohol tests and had a loaded gun in his vehicle.

In 2018, Hetzel received departmental discipline and signed a “last chance agreement” following his arrest and conviction for an impaired driving incident. He pled not guilty to that charge and was subsequently found guilty. 

As part of that departmental discipline, Officer Hetzel was approved as fit for duty by a drug and alcohol-certified medical expert.

In addition to his forthcoming legal proceedings, Hetzel's future with the Richfield Police Department will be determined by an administrative review.