Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Corrections Officer Alan Welch Arrested for DWI


A Lee County corrections officer arrested on a driving while intoxicated charge asked the highway trooper making the arrest to show some “professional courtesy” during the stop, according to the arrest report.

Alan George Welch, 47, was pulled over early last Thursday morning when an Interstate 75 driver complained his silver truck was moving erratically near mile marker 118 in the northbound lane, the report says.

Florida Highway Patrol officer Robert Ellis made the stop near the 136 mile marker.

The following is according to Ellis’ report:

As Ellis approached Welch’s truck, the corrections officer showed his Sheriff’s Office badge. Ellis asked if he had a gun, and he removed it from the truck.

Welch told Ellis he was coming from the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track in Bonita, where a combination of two beers, an empty stomach and pills for arthritis left him out of sorts.

He failed several coordination tests and blew a .173 on a breathalyzer test 90 minutes after being pulled over.

The corrections officer told Ellis the stop would ruin Welch’s 20-year law enforcement career and that the trooper didn’t understand what he was doing. At one point he asked for “professional courtesy” from Ellis, although the word “courtesy” was misspelled in the report.

“The defendant continued to say how I ruined his 20 years and that he did nothing wrong,” Ellis wrote in the report. “He said I didn’t understand.”

Welch, who has been employed by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office since February 2006, was a corrections officer at the Ortiz campus of the Lee County jail, where his responsibilities included guarding and moving inmates, jail commander Capt. Tom Eberhardt said. It’s unclear where he was earlier in his career.

Welch’s firearm, badge, ammunition, department jacket and department identification were turned over to Sheriff’s Office deputies on the night of the arrest.

Following his arrest, Welch was briefly held in the downtown jail before being released on bond, Eberhardt said.

He was placed on administrative leave, Sheriff’s Office John Sheehan said the day after the arrest.

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