Posted on December 6, 2010 at 7:01 PM
Tuesday, Dec 7 at 11:17 AM
KVUE has learned more about the investigation in to a DWI accident that involved an Austin police SWAT officer. That officer was also on call.
The incident happened last Friday off Convict Hill Road in Southwest Austin.
APD and city leaders are pretty much staying tight lipped about the accident and arrest, not stating more than it is ongoing investigation. However, we do know exactly how that investigation will unfold.
The SWAT officer, Michael Wayne Hamilton's unmarked squad car's front window was smashed in. Mirrors have been ripped off and the trunk will not close. All of the damage is a result of Friday's accident where Hamilton is accused of rolling the car at least once while intoxicated.
He was also on call and, according to his arrest affidavit, not cooperative after the crash.
Sgt. Keith Bazzle of the Austin Police Department said, "It's not a good mark on a department. It make us look bad, and everyone associates one person with the whole department, then looks at the department as a whole."
Police Chief Art Acevedo added this statement Monday, "Consistent with our stance, we are investigating Officer Hamilton's actions leading up to and following the crash. We will take appropriate administrative and criminal action at the conclusion of the investigation."
KVUE tried to speak to city leaders and leaders of officer associations outside the department. Not one of them wanted to comment. They all stated they wanted to wait until the investigation is complete.
KVUE also learned Monday the investigation could take up to six months. Under state law the department has 180 days to complete its report. Two department agencies are looking at the incident; Internal affairs and the Special Investigations, because it deals with a criminal matter.
"Being a transparent department as we are hoping people will see that we are doing our own investigations and our chief is good with letting the public know of the procedures that we go through," Bazzle said.
Hopefully once those investigations are complete, we will get the answers to what the situation was surrounding the accident, why Hamilton may have been drinking, if he had SWAT gear in his car, and whether he has had issues in the past with showing up to a scene not being able to perform his duties.
To become a SWAT officer you have to be the with department for at least two years. You must be selected for the job and go through a special training.
Michael Wayne Hamilton is out of jail on a $5,000 bond and is on administrative leave with pay.