South Sound News

Lakewood police officer arrested on suspicion of DUI in patrol vehicle

GIG HARBOR, Wash. — Eric Bell has been in law enforcement 20 years, the last 14 of which have been with the Lakewood Police Department.

Now Bell faces criminal charges after being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol while behind the wheel of a police vehicle.

According to a release by Assistant Police Chief John Unfred, Bell crashed on Wagner Way Street in Gig Harbor around 9:00 p.m. on the night of Sept. 23.

Gig Harbor police responded, and said “Upon arrival, they found a vehicle that had left the roadway and the lone male driver, who appeared intoxicated, nearby.

"Upon further investigation it was found that the driver was an off-duty Lakewood PD Officer and that the involved un-marked police vehicle belonged to the City of Lakewood. Officer Eric Bell was arrested for DUI and released later that night.”

The Washington State Patrol is investigating the incident and has released few details. Unfred says the police vehicle Bell was driving was totaled in the crash.

He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Criminal charges have not been filed yet.

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