EAST ST. LOUIS --- An East St. Louis police detective is facing disciplinary actions as a result of his being caught asleep in a running unmarked police car a week ago in Belleville, police said. And the Belleville officers who did not arrest the detective also are facing disciplinary action, Belleville Police Chief Bill Clay said.
Belleville police received a report at 3:44 a.m. Sept. 22 about a man asleep behind the wheel of a car stopped at Third and West Main streets.
"Our sergeant pulled up to the car and ran a check of the license plate, which came back to a black Ford Taurus belonging to the city of East St. Louis," Clay said.
The Belleville sergeant "attempted to make contact with the occupant, who appeared to be asleep. He shook the individual and got him awake," Clay said, reading from the police report.
The man was asleep with the car running and his foot on the brake, the police report said. He was later identified as East St. Louis Police Detective Ricky Perry, Clay said. The car was equipped with police radios, and Perry had his duty weapon on him, Clay said.
Perry could not be reached for comment.
Two other Belleville patrolmen arrived at the scene and stood by. While the officers were attempting to talk to Perry, "he tried to drive off," Clay said. "The officers stopped him, and the driver (Perry) pulled his car onto a nearby parking lot."
A short time later, "the officers determined the subject (Perry) had been drinking. Perry passed out again," the report states.
"East St. Louis command were contacted and advised of the situation. We later talked to (Chief Michael) Baxton," Clay said.
Clay said Baxton, East St. Louis Police Lt. Bobby Cole and another unidentified lieutenant traveled to Belleville, where all were apprised of the situation.
"The chief was advised that no field sobriety test was completed because he (Perry) was passed out. The chief advised Cole to escort Perry. The vehicle was taken and Perry became a passenger at this point," Clay said.
Clay said the Belleville sergeant who initially responded to the scene spoke to Baxton, and Baxton told him he would deal with the situation internally.
No police report was written. Clay said he is not pleased with how the situation was handled, and said it is not customary that an officer would give professional courtesy to another policeman who was driving drunk, just because he is an officer of the law.
"In my opinion, our sergeant called the wrong police chief. He should've called me. He (Perry) would've been arrested and treated like any other citizen," Clay said. "We're finishing up our own administrative review. After the investigation is complete, I'll consider disciplinary action."
On Monday, when Baxton was asked by a reporter whether he was aware of a drunken driving situation involving Perry, he said he was not aware of it.
On Friday, when he learned that the incident had been confirmed by the Belleville Police Department, Baxton told a reporter he didn't release any information regarding the incident because "I had not received a report from the Belleville Police Department."
He said he was "advised of the situation Saturday." And he denied he was one of the three who went to Belleville to get Perry.
Baxton acknowledged that what Perry did "was wrong." And he said Perry does face disciplinary action. He also said that Perry is no longer allowed to take the unmarked police car home.
"I am still waiting on a report from the Belleville Police Department," Baxton said.
Asked whether Baxton has contacted him, Clay said, "No." Baxton confirmed Friday that he has not contacted the Belleville chief.
"I turned the matter over to Lt. Bobby Cole," Baxton said. "He is the commander in charge of the patrol division. He is taking care of that."
Baxton said the matter is important to him, "but I have been so busy with the three homicides we had over the same weekend."
Cole said Perry remains on the job. He said he likely will speak to Clay on Monday, and Cole said he hasn't talked to Clay yet because he has been busy with the homicide investigations.