A Bellevue police officer who was disciplined for his profane and drunken behavior at a Seattle Seahawks game last year has been charged with drunken driving in connection with a Nov. 20 incident in which a fellow officer let him go home
despite concluding he was “hammered.”
Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo said Officer Andrew Hanke, 38, an eight-year department veteran, has been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case and an internal investigation.
Pillo said the department is also conducting an internal investigation into the actions of Officer Doug Brennan, who was off-duty but in uniform and driving his patrol car when he stopped Hanke speeding and weaving in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90. Brennan is a traffic officer.
According to a report Brennan filed Nov. 27, a week after the incident, he was on his way home about 10 p.m. when he was passed on I-90 by a Jeep Cherokee traveling at 73 mph, well above the posted 60 mph limit. He said the Jeep looked similar to Hanke’s personal vehicle, and that it had a law-enforcement-memorial license plate.
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Brennan wrote that the Jeep was “swerving all over the roadway.”
Brennan said he activated his overhead lights and pulled the car over. He recognized Hanke and was greeted by an odor of alcohol when the window rolled down, Brennan wrote in the report.
“I saw that Andy had a glazed look on his face, and his eyes were bloodshot, watery and droopy,” Brennan wrote.
He said Hanke refused to say how much he had been drinking and seemed confused when asked to turn off his vehicle, turning the headlights off and on instead.
“I was upset by my contact with Andy in this situation,” he wrote. “I told him he was drunk … I told him he was hammered.”
Even so, Brennan called Hanke’s wife and told her to come and get him. After she arrived in her own vehicle, she drove Hanke home in his car while Brennan waited with her vehicle until she got a ride and came back for it.
While he was waiting, Brennan said, he contacted two Bellevue supervisors to explain what had happened.
Based on his report, he did not issue a citation at the scene, conduct field sobriety tests or make an effort to obtain Hanke’s blood-alcohol level before letting him leave with his wife.
Pillo said the department will scrutinize Brennan’s actions.
“While officers are allowed some discretion during a traffic stop, the officer’s decision in this case not to make an arrest is undergoing a thorough and objective internal investigation,” Pillo said in a prepared statement. “That investigation will determine whether the on-duty officer used poor judgment and/or failed to perform their duties,” police said in a news release.
Hanke was one of two Bellevue officers punished last year for their off-duty behavior at a Seahawks game, when they drunkenly confronted a female Seattle police officer and got into a profanity-laced altercation with a fan and his family.
After the investigation into that incident, Hanke was suspended for 30 days without pay and removed from the department’s Bomb Squad. The second officer, Dion Robertson, was demoted from corporal to officer and lost his supervisory responsibilities on the Bomb Squad.
Hanke had told investigators into that incident that he was too drunk to remember driving home to Snoqualmie from CenturyLink Field after he, Robertson and a Bellevue public-utilities worker were ejected from the game.
Police say details of the internal investigations into the actions of Hanke and Brennan will not be released until they are completed.
“I expect our officers to abide by our guiding principles of respect, accountability, integrity and service, and to abide by the laws of the state of Washington both on and off duty,” Pillo said in her statement. “If these allegations are sustained, the involved officers will be held accountable for their actions.”
Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @stimesmcarter
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.