Police: Cop's BAC three times legal limit

December 22, 2009 4:05:55 PM PST
An off-duty police officer charged in a fatal crash on Sunday night reportedly had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit. Prosecutors say that the 34-year-old was driving under the influence when he lost control of his vehicle on I-55 and crashed head on into an oncoming vehicle. On Tuesday, he faced a judge and the relatives of the man killed in Sunday night's crash.

A $750,000 bond was set for 34-year-old Edward Stapinski. He was charged with reckless homicide and drunk driving in connection with a three-car crash that killed a 29-year-old man.

"The Illinois State Police responded to the scene and observed the defendant had blood shot eyes, a strong smell of alcohol on his breath and slurred speech. He declined to submit to a chemical breath test," said John Carroll, Assistant State's Attorney.

Stapinski was driving south on I-55 near Cicero Avenue when his vehicle struck the concrete median barrier and crashed into Man K. Wong's car on Sunday night.

Wong's family was present at court today.

"He deserves the consequences that any citizen would receive," Tiffany Song, victim's cousin.

"I'm glad he got charged, but it just came late and we were wondering if it was a regular driver, they would have been more on him," said Prudence Wong, victim's cousin.

Stapinki's blood alcohol level was three times more than the legal limit.

The judge talked about how the police officer should be someone that society upholds and trusts. Relatives said Mike Wong worked two jobs to support his family.

"The defendant gave several statements to police that he was coming from a West Loop bar. He had been there from about 6:00 to 9:00 and drinking a few beers at that bar and noted that traffic was light and driving at approximately 80 miles per hour," said Carroll.

Edward Stapinski's attorney, Matt Walsh, did not want to talk on camera. Attempts to reach the police union and the Lockport Police Department, where Stapinski has been an officer for over seven years, have not been returned.

Lieutenant Cavid Drexler released a statement.

The police department added it will immediately begin an internal investigation and forward the findings to the Board of Police Commissioners for proper disciplinary action which may include termination.


Load Comments