Pelham Police officer fights to save job
PELHAM, N.H. (WHDH) -- Officer Eugene Stahl could be out of a job after the way he handled a drunk driving arrest in January.
“Who was driving the car?” Stahl asked a woman. She replied, “I think I was…I don't think I was.”
Stahl then said, “Okay, who was in the car with you then? This isn’t [expletive] rocket science. You’re going to go to jail if you don’t tell me who was in the car.” After that the woman started crying.
And then minutes later, he asked her, “how did you get here?” She replied, “I’m sorry but I’m wicked drunk right now, I’m trying to remember, but I don’t know.” Stahl again threatened her with jail time.
Attorneys for the Pelham NH Police Chief said Officer Stahl violated policies relating to interrogation, failure to read the woman her Miranda rights, and used abusive and profane behavior. But his attorneys disagree. They argued there was clear confusion of who was driving.
“We’re not here to prove to you Officer Stahl is absolutely perfect, but under those circumstances, that’s what you need to understand,” said Stahl’s attorney, David Slawsky.
That traffic stop isn’t the fire time Stahl has been suspended over his 12 years on the job. In 2007, dash cam video captured him pulling his gun on two juveniles.
“There’s a school bus full of children nearby, there are neighbors nearby watching the event, and yet the hand gun is reckless until such time as the juvenile’s are in cuffs,” said Peter Nicosial, attorney for the Pelham NH Police Chief.
But again, his attorneys disagreed in that case.
“There was no backup there and if this driver had a weapon, Officer Stahl was in serious trouble,” said Slawsky.
Both sides have agreed in his 12 years Stahl has demonstrated good behavior.
The board has two weeks to decide whether he will keep his job.