An off-duty Elyria police officer is suspected of being intoxicated when he drove into a ditch last Monday night in Penfield Township.
Elyria patrolman Charles McArthur was headed south on Nickel-Plate Diagonal Road in his Ford F-150 when he approached the intersection at Peck Wadsworth Road. He ran a stop sign, veered off the south edge of the roadway, and then struck a ditch, according to Lt. Carlos Smith of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
McArthur was taken by ambulance to Mercy Allen Hospital in Oberlin and then transported by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.
Smith didn’t know the extent of McArthur’s injuries but said the trip to Cleveland was precautionary.
McArthur was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, no safety belt, and failure to control his vehicle.
Troopers administered a blood-alcohol content test and are awaiting the results.
Elyria police chief Duane Whitely said he had not seen a copy of any report Monday afternoon and expects to receive the report once the state highway patrol completes its investigation. At that point he will then decide what disciplinary action needs to be taken.
Whitely has been with the Elyria police department 25 years and said this is the first time an officer’s been charged with drinking and driving.
McArthur has been on the force in Elyria for roughly three years and Whitely couldn’t recall any other incident involving the officer that would require disciplinary action.
“What I’ve known is that he’s been a good officer,” he said.
McArthur is on vacation right now. Whitely said that time was approved well before the crash but he isn’t sure how much time off was requested.
Whitely said the incident will be addressed but feels fortunate to have time to review the reports while McArthur is on vacation before having to make any decisions on what steps to take next.
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.