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Bad DUI arrest from cop who arrested "MJ/Schnitt's" attorney

7:28 PM, May 17, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- A high profile DUI arrest involving a Tampa Police officer, who is already in the middle of another huge DUI controversy after he arrested radio personality M-J's attorney, is bringing charges of overzealous officers.

This time it is clearly a bad arrest by the same officer.

Not only is the officer high profile, so is the man he arrested, who is claiming he is the victim of a political agenda. The men who were arrested is proof of a phrase that many people tell police when they are arrested for DUI - "Officer I am not drunk." However in this instance, it is 100 percent true.

On the dash cam video you can see a DUI arrest that never should have happened, because the driver was stone cold sober.

Meet Albert Fox who says, "I want to get my good name back."

In February, Fox was driving home from a poker game when he was pulled over by Tampa police on Hillsborough Avenue. Fox thought he might have been speeding. 

Fox tells us the officer came over to his car, "He said how much have you had to drink ... and I said nothing and he walked away." According to Fox, "That couldn't have been 15 seconds."

The officer who pulled Fox over was Sgt. Ray Fernandez. That's the same officer who arrested attorney Phil Campbell. Campbell was representing shock jock Todd "MJ" Schnitt in a legal battle with rival jock Bubba the Love Sponge- aka Todd Clem.

In those 15 seconds Fernandez - who has made more than 150 DUI arrests in the past 3 years - determined that Fox had glassy eyes, slurred speech and the distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.

And while records show Fox had no alcohol in his system because of a 0.00 breathalyzer test and no drugs in his system due to of a urinalysis, Tampa P.D. defends the arrest. According to spokesperson Laura McElroy, "The officers had probable cause from the field sobriety test, officer observation and the way Fox was driving his car."

Fox says that is patently untrue. In fact, he contends the arrest as political.

Fox says, "It is difficult not for me to reach that conclusion when an arresting officer says I recognize you ... Oh you're that Cuba fellow."

Fox has led 88 good will missions to Cuba, including the one where former Mayor Dick Greco spent 5 hours with Fidel Castro. And for that reason, he says he's hated by some in the Cuban community.

"We've gotten threatening phone calls, all related to my Cuba stuff, that I'm a Castro lover, I'm a communist, that sort of thing."

Tampa Police defend the actions of Sgt. Fernandez, saying it was "unfortunate" that the Campbell case is calling his integrity into question. Fox isn't convinced.

"That's very troubling, that's not supposed to happen in this society."

The State Attorney's Office has dropped the DUI charges against Fox.

Meanwhile, Fox says he also can't understand why after being taken to Orient Road Jail and posting bond, that he was taken to the Faulkenburg Jail and then back to Orient. The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office says it was because of construction at Orient.

Fox and his attorney, who may file suit, say they are against drunk drivers - but also against innocent people being arrested by what they call overzealous officers.

 

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