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Bay Area Criminal Defense Blog

Police Officer Sexually Assaults Drunk Driving Passenger

Posted by Lynn Gorelick | Jul 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

After a couple of drinks, many drivers may feel fine to drive home. Even if they are driving safely, seeing flashing lights in the rear-view mirror may trigger a panic response. The driver may worry that they will be arrested for a DUI, which will turn their life upside down. However, in some cases, a DUI arrest may be the least of these driver's concerns.

A police officer in Covert Township Michigan has been arrested for sexually assault. The recently resigned officer, Erich Fritz, is facing two counts of criminal sexual conduct, and one count of kidnapping, after he allegedly pulled over a driver on suspicion of drunk driving, and later sexually assaulting the passenger. He faces multiple counts of life in prison. The officer was only on the police force for two months when the assault occurred.

According to an investigation, Fritz arrested a suspected drunk driver. The female passenger said she was extremely drunk, and did not know where she could stay for the night. Fritz then took her to his hotel room and told her to take a shower. The woman showered, and passed out on the bed. She awoke to find Fritz sexually assaulting her. The woman later reported the assault, saying she felt trapped and afraid. She also had bruises on her arms.

Fritz said the sex was consensual, although the camera footage inside the patrol car shows the woman to be highly intoxicated. At multiple points, Fritz even commented how drunk the woman appeared to be. The woman commented multiple times that she was afraid and did not know where she was. She fell getting out of the patrol car and even wet herself. Instead of getting help for the woman, he took her phone, ID card, and credit card. He arrived back at the hotel after she had vomited and passed out before he allegedly sexually assaulted the woman.

In a California case, a DUI suspect was shot by a police officer as he was crawling out of his overturned car. Andrew Nicholas Thomas was allegedly intoxicated when he rolled his SUV. As Thomas tried to climb out of the window to safety, Paradise police department dashboard camera footage shows an officer shooting Thomas in the neck, causing him to slump back into the wrecked vehicle. The officer is not facing any criminal charges after claiming he does not know why the gun went off. However, the officer has not said why he thought it was necessary to draw his gun on the scene of a car accident.

Jasmine Glespie was at an apartment party with friends, having a few drinks. At some point, Glespie and others left the party. When Glespie got behind the wheel of a car, others at the party told her she was too drunk to drive. Police were called, and after Glespie backed into a pedestrian, police apparently opened fire, shooting Glespie in her abdomen, arm, and wrist. Glespie filed a lawsuit against the police department, later settling the case for more than $1 million.

At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people facing drunk driving charges in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands how a DUI conviction can affect your future, threaten your job, and how to fight to keep a conviction off your record. If you are facing a DUI charge, contact the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands that you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.

About the Author

Lynn Gorelick

Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for 30 years. She is the Attorney Lynn Gorelick is the President of the California DUI Lawyers Association and a Faculty and Sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense.

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