APD officer tries to conceal identity, ignores cops during DWI arrest

New Mexico News

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque police officer did not give his brothers in blue any form of common courtesy, while he was being arrested for aggravated DWI. A week prior to his arrest, the officer was involved in a shooting in northeast Albuquerque.

Officer: “Are you a police officer?”
Cherair: “I am.”
Officer: “You are. With who? With APD?”

The lapel video shows a man, now identified as 29-year-old Fouad Cherair, slightly nod to Rio Rancho police officers. On February 21, Rio Rancho police officers saw a damaged, silver Ford Mustang crashed into a curb near Westside and Unser.

Officer: “What’s your name, bud?”
Cherair: “Uh, is there a reason why you need my name?”
Officer: “Yeah, you’re involved in a crash.”
Cherair: “I’m not involved in a crash.”
Officer: “You obviously haven’t seen your front tire, have you? It’s completely folded over.”
Cherair: “I’m not involved in a crash.”
Officer: “Yeah, you are. Cause you can see your tracks coming right here.”
Cherair: “Okay.”
Officer: “Okay, so what’s your name?”

According to the lapel video, Cherair doesn’t answer. He instead continues to stare at his cell phone, while ignoring officers. Cherair also repeatedly ignored officers when they tell him to step out of his car.

Officer: “Go ahead and step out of the car, man.”
Officer: “Get out of the car.”
Cherair: “What’s up?”
Officer: “What’s your deal, man? Get out of the car. It’s the police. Get out of the car. You were involved in a crash, okay?”
Cherair: “I got you. I got you. I got you.”

Officers say that Cherair smelled like alcohol and had slurred speech. They also found a beer can next to the toppled tree Cherair initially crashed his car into.

Officer: “I am going to ask you one more time, what is your name?”
Cherair: “I don’t have to give you my name.”
Officer: “Turn around, put your hands behind your back.”
Cherair: “Okay.”
Officer: “You’re under arrest for DWI.”
Cherair: “Okay.”

Rio Rancho officers saw an Albuquerque Police Department insignia on Cherair’s cell phone and called an APD sergeant to the scene to confirm that he works for the department. Just a week prior to Cherair’s arrest on February 13, APD confirmed that Cherair was shot by a suspect during a foot chase near Dallas and Copper.

At the time, Interim Police Chief Harold Medina said Cherair was put on standard administrative leave. Monday evening, a spokesperson for APD said they could not immediately verify if Cherair had returned to work at the time of his arrest.

Since his arrest, Cherair is on administrative leave pending an investigation. He has been with APD since 2018 and is on the Southeast Problem Response Team. Cherair is facing aggravated DWI charges for refusing to test, along with charges for careless driving and failure to report an accident. He is set to be arraigned on March 8.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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