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Cleveland police captain accused of driving drunk on Christmas charged

Posted at 3:28 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 17:14:22-05

TWINSBURG, Ohio — A Cleveland police captain who was stopped on Christmas for allegedly driving drunk in Twinsburg has been charged.

The officer, John Sotomayor, 52, is charged with having physical control of a motor vehicle while impaired, according to Twinsburg Law Director David Maistros.

The charge stems from a Dec. 25, 2019 traffic stop in Twinsburg. Officers pulled Sotomayor's car over after the department received a 911 call about a possible drunk driver on I-480.

During the traffic stop, Officers said that Sotomayor showed signs of impairment.

The captain's car was towed from the scene and Twinsburg officers let Sotomayor call his spouse for a ride home.

According to Cleveland police, Sotomayor has been assigned to restricted duty while the case goes through the court system.

Sotomayor is scheduled to appear in Stow Municipal Court on Jan. 14.

Twinsburg Police Chief Christopher Noga said in a Facebook post Wednesday that the Twinsburg officers who conducted the traffic stop and then chose not to arrest Sotomayor have "been fully counseled regarding their actions taken and decisions made that evening."

You can read the chief's full statement below:

"Poor choices were made on Christmas night. The first was Mr. Sotomayer's decision to place the public in harm's way. The second poor choice was made by my officers to treat Mr. Sotomayer differently from anyone else in relation to their interaction with him. While the officers ensured that an impaired individual would not drive away, the fact that Mr. Sotomayer is a Cleveland Police officer should not have weighed any differently in this situation. In fact, this should hold greater weight as the choice to not arrest Mr. Sotomayer that night has affected public trust not only for us, but for law enforcement as a profession. Police officers are human beings and human beings make choices that sometimes do not align with an organization's preferred way of handling a situation. As the leader of the Twinsburg Police Department, I take responsibility for this lack of alignment. We have internally reviewed this incident to ensure that our policies and philosophies are the correct tools needed by our officers to prevent something like this from happening again as well as what is needed to restore any lost confidence by our residents in our Department. Both officers have been fully counseled regarding their actions taken and decisions made that evening. As a result of this incident, we have to learn from this and perform better, both as an agency and as individuals."

RELATED: Cleveland police captain stopped on Christmas for suspected drunk driving in Twinsburg