FORT WORTH -- A police officer fired from the department in October following his arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated has been reinstated, one month after he was found not guilty of the charge.
The indefinite suspension of Guillermo "Bill" Hernandez was reduced to a 60-day suspension as part of an agreement between Hernandez and former interim police chief Patricia Kneblick, according to documents filed with the Civil Service Commission last week.
Hernandez returned to work as a full-duty officer on Dec. 8, the documents state.
Hernandez, 40, was arrested in May after a Tarrant Regional Water District officer alleged that he had watched the off-duty officer's pickup swerve on and off the road, run a red light and almost strike another car.
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The officer and a Tarrant County sheriff’s deputy called to the scene to assist in the traffic stop both noted a strong odor of alcohol on Hernandez, according to an offense report.
Hernandez was placed on restricted duty after his arrest and, in October, was terminated after an internal investigation -- a decision that he appealed.
Tarrant County court records show Hernandez was found not guilty of the driving while intoxicated charge on Nov. 14.
According to the offense report, the water district officer was traveling west on Texas 199 behind Hernandez’s pickup about 2 a.m. May 17 when he saw the truck swerve onto the shoulder and back onto the road more than once, then saw the driver run a red light while turning onto Boat Club Road.
The officer unsuccessfully tried to reach police and eventually pulled Hernandez over himself on Reef Point Lane after seeing the truck nearly strike another vehicle, the report states.
The officer reported that Hernandez's speech was slurred and that his breath and the cab of the pickup smelled strongly of alcohol. The offense report states that a Tarrant County deputy noted the same thing upon arrival.
Hernandez told the water district officer that he was heading home from a bar on Camp Bowie Boulevard and that he had shifted lanes because the wheel had been jerked around as he and his girlfriend fought.
He said he was unaware that he ran a red light and apologized, the report states.
Hernandez was given a field sobriety test, but the report does not indicate whether he passed or failed.
While waiting for a Fort Worth police supervisor to arrive, Hernandez remarked that the good things he had done should outweigh the bad and that the water district officer should “show some professional courtesy,” the offense report states.