ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - A St. Louis Park Police officer has been charged with DWI and obstruction after allegedly crashing her car into a parked vehicle and refusing to cooperate with responding officers.
Chaunte Lee Ford was charged in Hennepin County District Court with DWI, colliding with an unattended vehicle, careless driving and obstructing the legal process. A St. Louis Park spokesperson confirms that Chaunte Ford has been with the department for six years, more than three years as a sworn officer, and the rest as a community service officer.
"St. Louis Park Police Officer Chaunte Ford was placed on administrative leave on Saturday, August 6, 2016. We are determining the appropriate time to begin an internal review," reads a statement released by the city. "The St. Louis Park Police Department and the City of St. Louis Park expect the highest standards of conduct from our employees, and these charges are troubling."
A criminal complaint details how an off duty officer was in Minneapolis around 11:15 p.m. August 5 when he heard a crash that sounded like a car accident. Patrons in front of the NE Palace Bar flagged him down, told the officer that a motorist had struck a parked car and was driving away.
The off-duty officer saw a silver Scion driving away slowly, jumped in his squad and followed the vehicle until it pulled over in a parking lot. He noticed a female walk from behind the car and slide into the drivers seat. He approached and asked the woman, later identified as Chaunte Ford, to get out of the car. She smelled strongly of alcohol and was unsteady on her feet. Ford reportedly began to cry, stated she was a cop, and said she was storry.
As additional squads arrived on the scene Ford became more agitated, yelling obscenities and becoming hostile towards those officers. They say she pulled down her pants, squatted and urinated on the ground. She then refused sobriety tests, laid down and refused to cooperate, and police eventually rolled her over and handcuffed Ford.
Once in custody Ford agreed to submit to a breath test, which indicated her blood alcohol concentration was .20 nearly three hours after the crash.