Bellevue cop accused of letting fellow officer off hook for DUI
A Bellevue police officer who was disciplined for his off-duty behavior at a Seattle Seahawks game last year has been placed on administrative leave and charged with driving drunk in an unrelated incident, during which a fellow officer tried to help him avoid arrest.
As KIRO Radio first reported Thursday, Officer Andrew A. Hanke was pulled over by Bellevue Police Officer Doug Brennan on November 20. According to a police report, Brennan witnessed Hanke driving at a high rate of speed and swerving on Interstate 90 near Issaquah.
Brennan recognized the tan Jeep Cherokee as Hanke’s personal vehicle and recognized Hanke as he approached the SUV.
“Hanke, what are you doing?” Brennan asked, according to the report.
Brennan wrote that he smelled the odor of alcohol inside the vehicle and that Hanke had a “glazed look on his face and his eyes were bloodshot, watery and droopy.”
“I asked Andy where he was coming from and he said that he was coming from the Sideline Sports Bar,” Brennan wrote in the report. “I asked him how much he had drank and he stared at me then looked forward in the car.”
“I told him that he was drunk. I pointedly asked him ‘what the (expletive) are you doing driving?’ I told him that he was hammered.”
Instead of investigating Hanke for DUI, Brennan called his wife to pick him up.
Brennan later reported the incident to supervisors, who launched internal and criminal investigations.
After denying repeated requests for comment about the incident Wednesday, the Bellevue Police Department addressed it in a written statement Thursday morning.
The following morning, when Chief Linda Pillo was notified of the incident, the officer who was stopped was immediately placed on administrative leave, while concurrent internal and criminal investigations were ordered. The criminal investigation was filed this week with the King County prosecutor’s office, and the internal investigation is ongoing.
The Department is also investigating the actions of the officer who made the stop. While officers are allowed some discretion during a traffic stop, the officer’s decision in this case not to make an arrest is undergoing a thorough and objective internal investigation. That investigation will determine whether the on-duty officer used poor judgment and/or failed to perform their duties.
“I expect our officers to abide by our guiding principles of respect, accountability, integrity and service, and to abide by the laws of the state of Washington both on and off duty,” Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo said in a statement. “If these allegations are sustained, the involved officers will be held accountable for their actions.”
Hanke and another member of the Bellevue Police Department previously came under fire for drunken and disorderly behavior during a Sept. 16, 2012 football game at CenturyLink Field.
A 580-page internal report detailing the incident revealed that Hanke and his supervisor, a then-Corporal Dion Robertson, attended the game with two females, consuming an unknown amount of alcohol at home, at a tailgate party, and inside the stadium.
According to the report, the officers admitted to drinking several Coors Light beers, shots of whiskey, and two batches of “Pink Panty Droppers,” each batch being a two-gallon jug filled with one-fifth of vodka, eight beers and lemonade.
As the group approached CenturyLink Field that day, witnesses recalled how they harassed a Seattle Police officer directing traffic who caught Hanke’s wife littering.
“Are you really going to make my wife pick that up?” Hanke asked the officer, according to witnesses. “I am a Bellevue Police Officer.”
Problems continued once the group went inside, where Hanke was accused of making racist comments and using vulgarities.
The group was eventually escorted from the stadium by alcohol enforcement officers. Hanke later told investigators during an internal review of the incident that he did not remember driving home from the stadium that day.
The incident led to Hanke’s removal from the bomb squad and a 30-day suspension.
On Thursday, the Issaquah City Prosecutor’s Office formally charged Hanke with DUI for the November 20 incident.