Cop was intoxicated throughout seek for kidnapped child, chief says

A California police officer was intoxicated whereas he was investigating the kidnapping of a 3-month-old child, authorities stated.

“I am disappointed and dismayed by the information I was shared today, but it must be shared in the spirit of transparency,” Anthony Mata, police chief of the San Jose Police Department, stated at a May 3 information convention. “We are, and should be, held to a higher standard.”

Mata didn’t establish the officer, however stated he had been positioned on depart.

“If criminal conduct is discovered, there will be swift and appropriate action. That action can lead up to termination, in addition to any criminal prosecution and sentencing,” Mata stated.

The officer was responding to an April 26 incident, when a 3-month-old child was kidnapped from his San Jose house. His grandmother, who was watching him for the afternoon, was unloading groceries from her automobile when a person entered her condominium and left with the kid, the Sacramento Bee reported.

The child, Brandon Cuellar, was discovered alive the following day and brought to an area hospital as a precaution, the police division stated on Twitter. Three suspects have been taken into custody, in keeping with the Sacramento Bee.

Mata apologized to Cuellar’s household, saying he was “disappointed and dismayed” by the officer’s reported intoxication on the job.

“When any officer, regardless of agency, county or state, tarnishes the badge, we all suffer the consequences,” Mata stated.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo stated on the convention that the officer’s conduct was “both offensive and dangerous.”

“Discipline for this behavior should be appropriately severe,” Liccardo stated.

An FBI agent who was additionally on the crime scene seen the officer’s habits and reported it to police, KRON4 reported.

Assistant Police Chief Paul Joseph stated on the information convention that the division wants to find out if “officers either should have, or could have, recognized something with their colleague and didn’t.”

“I don’t think officers can act with impunity, and I don’t think they can act without consequences,” Joseph stated.

Vandana Ravikumar is a McClatchy Real-Time reporter. She grew up in northern Nevada and studied journalism and political science at Arizona State University. Previously, she reported for USA Today, The Dallas Morning News, and Arizona PBS.

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