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Gretna Police Chief Brian Bess Arrested For DUI; Screw-up Chief Also Has History Of Public Corruption

Posted: Sat 1:53 PM, Aug 25, 2012
Reporter: Jacquie Slater     Email | WCTV.Tv

Tallahassee, Florida- August 25, 2012

The Tallahassee Police Department said Brian Bess, the current Gretna Chief of Police, was arrested for DUI on Friday night after he failed field sobriety tests.

According to the probable cause affidavit, officers were called to Bess’ home in Tallahassee on a report of an impaired driver. When the responding officer arrived on scene, he observed Bess backing out of a driveway on a motorcycle. The officer said Bess was not wearing a helmet or protective eye gear.

The responding officer made contact with Bess, and said Bess replied by saying, “yea, I’m drunk, take me to jail, I ain’t blowing”.

During his interaction with Bess, the responding officer said he observed Bess had bloodshot glassy eyes, had slightly slurred speech, and the officer detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. The officer also said Bess was unable to establish the time of day or recall when he had consumed alcoholic beverages.

The affidavit says the officer asked Bess to participate in field sobriety exercises. It states that Bess agree ed. During the exercises, the officer said Bess seemed incoherent and no logical train of thought. The officer also said Bess was unable to maintain his balance during the exercises and missed the “finger to nose” on the first left command.

The officer placed Bess under arrest and says Bess became uncooperative when asked to repeat his name. He was brought to the Leon County Jail. During the transport, the officer said Bess was using profanity and was very argumentative.

The affidavit states Bess later refused to agree to consent to a breath test. The officer said Bess, said, “no, no, I ain’t doing, I’m a police officer.”

Bess was charged with DUI Alcohol or Drugs 1st Offense and non-moving traffic violations for operating a motorcycle without carrying his license, and not having a motorcycle endorsement.

This is not the first time Bess is in trouble with the law. Bess was previously involved in a hit and run accident in Leon County. The accident happened back in November of 2011. The details on that incident are posted below.

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[UPDATE] Gretna Police Chief Apologizes to LCSO After Lying About Crash

Click image to view slide show.   Gretna PD Chief Cited for Lying After Crash

Brian Bess Issues Apology; Pictures Released

[UPDATE] Feb. 24, 2012 – 6:22pm

Eyewitness News has obtained a copy of an apology letter Gretna Police Chief Brian Bess wrote to Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell.

It’s in response to a hit and run accident back in November in which Bess was cited for lying to law enforcement.

Bess was riding in the vehicle involved in the hit and run.

When police tracked the car down to arrest the driver, Bess told them they weren’t involved.

In the apology letter Bess says: “My only intention that night was to prevent a bad situation for one of my life long friends, not to hinder your deputies from conducting a proper investigation: thinking with my heart instead of my head.”

Gretna resident Francisco Chambers says, “He’s a very good police out here in Gretna and this is a small town. He made a mistake and I don’t feel like it was a big, big mistake.”

Bess was cited with a misdemeanor traffic violation for lying to law enforcement.

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Gretna Police Chief facing charges again

Reported by: Demetria Wright  | Email: dwright@wtxl.tv | Last Update: 4:14 pm

Gretna Police Chief

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gretna Police Chief Brian Bess has been charged with driving under the influence after Officers with the Tallahassee Police Department say they found him “very incoherent” while attempting to operate a motorcycle.

According to an arrest affidavit, it happened around 7 p.m. Friday. TPD Public Information Officer David Northway says officers were called out to Gina Drive in reference to an impaired driver.

TPD says Bess appeared to be intoxicated and his speech was slightly slurred.

We’re told the responding officer stated he’d had a previous encounter earlier that day with the chief, who appeared to have been intoxicated at that time also.

Officer Northway says once the responding officer made contact with Bess during the later encounter, Bess began blurting out comments such as “yea I’m drunk, take me to jail, I ain’t blowing.”

We’re told Officer Northway then made contact with Bess and began to casually talk with him. Northway says Bess could not comprehend what time of day it was and his eyes were bloodshot red. Northway says he also picked up on a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from Bess’ breath.

The affidavit goes on to say Bess stated he’d had 12 beers but officers could not determine when these beers were consumed due to Bess’ inability to comprehend what time it was.

Bess then went on to claim he was leaving to find his missing dog. Authorities say in actuality, the dog had just run out of the house several minutes before their conversation.

Officer Northway says he asked Bess again if he would be willing to take a sobriety test. He says Bess complied.

We’re told during the test Bess looked unsure of his feet and indicated and struggle to keep his balance.

After failed attempts at several field sobriety tests, Bess was placed under arrest at which time we’re told he became uncooperative. Officer Northway say Bess refused to give authorities his full name.

Bess was transported to the Leon County Jail where he refused to a breath test, saying “no, no I ain’t doing it, I’m a police officer.”

In addition to DUI, Bess has also been charged with not carrying his drivers license while operating a motor vehicle and operating a motorcycle without an endorsement.

Bess has been on the wrong side of the law before.

He was arrested in 2002 on battery and trespassing charges after being involved in a fight.

Less than a year ago an assistant state attorney filed charges against Bess for giving false information to law enforcement officers about a hit and run crash he was involved in.

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