New Details Revealed In State Trooper OVI Case
10TV broke the story of Trooper Jeremy Garner's arrest last month, and his firing from the State Highway Patrol last week.
Now we know exactly what led up to it.
As many as 10 State Highway Patrol personnel, including several Sergeants and Lieutenants, were at Skully's in the Short North the night of February 16th. They were there to support a co-worker performing in a Christian Rock concert, a night of off-duty fun that ended a Trooper's career.
Cameras inside a Columbus Police cruiser show the scene just after the crash. The SUV in the middle of the street was driven by State Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremy Garner.
Police say after plowing into several parked cars on Starr Avenue, he tried to get away, but was stopped by a broken front wheel.
You can hear officers speaking with Garner, whose voice is barely audible.
Police say Garner told them he was incapable of taking field sobriety tests.
"What's that? You don't think you can do them? Why don't you think you can do them?” an officer asked Garner.
His response was inaudible, but revealed in the Officer’s reply: “What? Because you drank a little bit?"
Police say a subsequent test found Garner's blood alcohol level at .277, more than three times the legal limit.
10TV obtained the State Highway Patrol's administrative investigation of the incident, which reveals several of Garner's co-workers were concerned about him driving.
One Lieutenant says his wife "told him Trooper Garner appeared to be intoxicated" and offered to give him a ride home but another Trooper "said he would take him because he lived closer to him."
A Sergeant tells investigators he "knew (Garner) was feeling the alcohol" and that "several people talked about taking Garner home but (one trooper) volunteered".
That Sergeant says he got a call later that night from the trooper who'd agreed to drive Garner home, saying "Garner was refusing to get into his vehicle and the situation was becoming hostile."
The Sergeant notified his Lieutenant, and both say they called Garner, telling him to accept the ride home. The Lieutenant says Garner told him he was fine, that his wife was picking him up.
The trooper tasked with getting Garner home said "at one point the two were in each other's face. He subsequently let Garner walk away" and called his supervisors.
Asked why he didn't accept a ride, Garner told investigators, "he felt as if people were surrounding him and he wanted to get away." He said he didn't remember anything between that and being involved in the crash.
The Highway Patrol fired Garner for "conduct unbecoming of an officer."
His court case - including charges of OVI and Fleeing the Scene - is still ongoing
Garner has declined comment to 10TV, but told investigators he is in an alcohol treatment program.
If convicted this would be second OVI.
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