No doubt about it, the cops say.
After Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke wrecked his car while driving drunk in 1998, he tried to flee the scene.
Yesterday’s report in the Texas Tribune shows that O’Rourke, who says he regrets the wreck and the drinking that caused it, dissembled when he told reporters he didn’t try to flee.
And the Tribune noted, the DUI crash wasn’t the first crime scene from which O’Rourke tried to flee.
He also tried to escape when cops nailed him in an attempted burglary.
Cops Stand by Their Reports
O’Rourke has tried to put the alcohol-fueled wreck behind him, and his campaign told the Tribune that the DUI “is something he has long publicly and openly addressed over the last 20 years at town halls, on the debate stage, during interviews and in Op-Eds, calling it a serious mistake for which there is no excuse.”
As well, the campaign reminded the Tribune, O’Rourke wasn’t arrested for trying to run. He was arrested for DUI, a charge that was dropped. And O’Rourke said he didn’t attempt to flee.
But the cops who wrote the reports say O’Rourke is fiddling with the truth.
The officer at the scene was Richard Carrera. “I believe we have contradicting stories here,” he told the Tribune. “I stand by my report.” Carrera carted O’Rourke to the station for breathalyzer tests. O’Rourke blew a 0.136 and 0.134, well over the legal limit at the time, 0.1. The Houston Chronicle published the report last year.
Carrera reread the report for the Tribune and concluded that he had “no doubt that he tried to leave the scene.”
O’Rourke, the report says, was hurtling down the highway when he lost “lost control” and “struck a truck traveling in the same direction,” after which his car, a Volvo, crossed the median and stopped.
“The defendant/driver then attempted to leave the scene,” Carrera wrote, quoting a witness.
O’Rourke’s attempt to run failed, and when the officer asked the future presidential candidate if he was hurt, O’Rourke slurred an answer so badly the officer did not understand. Carrera wrote that O’Rourke’s eyes were “glossy,” and he “almost fell to the floor” when he exited his car.
Gary Hargrove, who supervised the scene, told the Tribune that young Beto “did something to lead the officers to believe that he was trying to get away. What they put down, I believed them.”
O’Rourke, whose father was an influential judge and politician, skated on jail time with “pretrial diversion” that involved driving lessons, an alcohol abuse program, and a promise to stay sober.
O’Rourke’s Crime Scene No. 2 was the University of Texas in El Paso.
The Tribune dug up police records on O’Rourke’s arrest there for attempted burglary. O’Rourke and two chums hopped a fence and triggered an alarm.
A university cop saw “three subjects in the middle of the compound running in three different directions,” the mostly blacked-out report says.
“I immediately yelled at them to freeze and also gave foot pursuit. I observed two subjects run toward the main doors of the control center and lost sight of them when another subject was seen running behind parked vehicles westbound toward the green-house.”
But O’Rourke danced away from the burglary charge, too.
Campaign Spending and Murder Fantasies
Aside from the DUI and burglary charges, O’Rourke has ethical problems connected to his political campaigns.
He paid his own company more than $110,000 through a number of election cycles, spending that is not illegal, but is highly questionable. During his campaign for Senate, Project Veritas video-recorded O’Rourke’s campaign staff members’ admission they used misspent campaign money on illegal aliens not just for food but to transport them to bus stations.
Beyond that, the youthful candidate has a strange — very strange — past. O’Rourke wore dresses when he performed with his punk band. And Reuters disclosed that O’Rourke was a member of a group of hackers called the Cult of the Dead Cow, and that O’Rourke wrote a strange piece about murdering children.
“Then one day, as I was driving home from work, I noticed two children crossing the street,” he wrote. “As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two.”
One might ask whether O’Rourke was driving drunk in that fantasy, or under the influence when he wrote it.
Photo: AP Images