Fort Worth officer fired on DWI accusations

Posted Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- A Fort Worth officer who was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in October -- and who already had a DWI charge pending in North Richland Hills -- has been fired.

Zebadiah Rosado's termination went into effect Jan. 18, according to a disciplinary letter filed with the Civil Service Commission on Jan. 23 and obtained Thursday by the Star-Telegram.

Rosado appealed on Jan. 24.

His attorney, Ray Hosak with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Rosado was stopped by a Fort Worth officer about 2:20 a.m. Oct. 12 after he was observed committing minor traffic violations while driving in the 100 block of West 5th Street. A Fort Worth police report alleges that Rosado pulled away from a parked position without a turn signal, then turned into a wrong lane and failed to stay in one lane.

According to the disciplinary letter, the officer conducted a field sobriety test after observing Rosado exhibit visible signs of intoxication. Rosado did not successfully complete the test and was then arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the disciplinary letter states.

Rosado refused to submit to a breath test, prompting police to obtain a warrant for a blood sample. Lab results later showed he had an alcohol concentration level of 0.10, above the legal limit of 0.08, the letter states.

He was charged with DWI on Oct. 19, Tarrant County court records show.

At the time of his arrest, Rosado was already on limited duty and in a plain clothes position while awaiting the resolution of a DWI charge stemming from his July 4, 2011, arrest by North Richland Hills police. That case has also not yet gone to trial.

"Based on the facts obtained during an internal investigation, I have concluded that Officer Rosado drove his vehicle in public while intoxicated on Oct. 12, 2012. This violation, combined with the fact that he had been arrested for similar misconduct in July 2011, convinced me that he should no longer be a Fort Worth police officer," the letter, signed by Chief Jeffrey Halstead, states.

Edward G. Jones, Rosado's defense attorney in both criminal cases, was in court Thursday and did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Rosado's arrest came prior to Halstead's Jan. 3 public vow that -- starting that day -- he would fire any police officer who is determined by internal investigators to have driven drunk. Halstead also said that he would no longer wait for a drunken-driving case to make its way through the criminal justice system before ruling on an officer's discipline.

Previously, Halstead had handled DWI allegations on a case-by-case basis and subjected officers to punishments ranging from a 15-day suspension to termination.

Halstead made the change following the arrest by Keller police of Nicolas Ramirez, a Fort Worth DWI enforcement officer -- the latest in a string of more than a dozen officers arrested on suspicion of DWI since 2008.

"My message is very, very strong to every employee in this organization, sworn or civilian: You cannot drink and drive any longer unless you want to throw your career down the drain, because I will not tolerate it," Halstead said during the Jan. 3 news conference.

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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