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Friday, May 6, 2011

[WA] Police report: Detective Farnworth despondent over recent divorce and drunken crash in police car


Fife Police Detective Shane Farnworth drove drunk in a police car, crashed, and left the scene of the accident. He wasn't asked for a blood test. Due to"agitation" he was put in "wrist restraints." He felt low enough to be evaluated at the hospital. Police removed his arsenal. No DUI charges - just "alleged misconduct."

... "The alleged misconduct has to do with having that accident, his car leaving the scene of an accident," says Fife City Manager Dave Zabell...

I'm glad he got help and made it through the night.

Divorce is hard but we have to make the right choices. I was a mess after mine, and had I been a cop I would have had to take leave. An officer can break the law only if we all can. Regardless of unfair career repercussions and peer judgments, even a cop has to know when to say when and take a break or reach for help.

May 5th, 2011
[Excerpts] A Fife police detective [Shane Farnworth] is accused of driving drunk in a police car - and getting into a crash... But tonight Farnworth is at home on unpaid leave while his case is investigated... Farnworth allegedly admitted drinking and driving his police vehicle - and crashing it somewhere along Bay Street... Farnworth reportedly says he just drove the rest of the way home... "The alleged misconduct has to do with having that accident, his car leaving the scene of an accident," says Fife City Manager Dave Zabell. The Fife Police Department found out about the incident after Pierce County deputies were called to Farnworth's home after getting reports of possible suicidal individual. The police report says Farnworth was despondent about the crash and about his recent divorce. Pierce County deputies say Farnworth was agitated and needed to be placed in wrist restraints. The sheriff's supervisor on the scene ordered Farnworth to be taken in for a mental evaluation. Several weapons, including his service revolver, were removed from the premises. But no blood alcohol test was given - and investigators reportedly never found out exactly where the crash occurred. "Our investigation is into his misconduct. Whatever issues are out there regarding him personally are not part of the official investigation of misconduct," says Zabell. All of this comes as reports surfaced this week of an investigation of another Fife officer. The department suspended Lt. Doug Burris for a week without pay for not reporting that a fellow department employee complained that another Fife officer was sexually harrassing her... The Sumner Police Department is the outside agency conducting the investigation, and the findings are due out shortly. Then the Fife city manager will have to decide what action to take - anything from no action to termination. [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety handcuffs lethal suicidal washington state politics]


  1. The News Tribune
    [Excerpts] A veteran Fife police detective has resigned after an investigation into accusations that he drove into a cement barrier while off duty, totaled his unmarked patrol car and improperly left the scene. Det. Roy Shane Farnworth, an 18-year employee of Fife police, said in a letter Thursday he was stepping down "due to personal reasons"... The crash involving Farnworth took place on Dec. 27... Later that same day, at least six deputies and a sergeant converged on the house where Farnworth then lived in the Riverside area east of Tacoma, responding to a report that he was suicidal... When they saw Farnworth around 10:30 p.m., he was agitated and had been drinking. His wrecked patrol car was at his house... "Upon contact it was obvious that Farnworth had been drinking"... Farnworth, 45, had totalled his patrol car, causing damage of $13,200... "We were there to take him into involuntary commitment, which we did," sheriff's department spokesman Ed Troyer said... Deputies also confiscated four handguns and two rifles from Farnworth's house, including his department-issued weapons. They turned them over to a Fife police lieutenant for safekeeping, according to a deputies' report. Two other Fife police officials – the assistant chief and another lieutenant – were at the scene. Although Farnworth had been drinking, sheriff's deputies did not arrest him for driving under the influence, Troyer said. "He wasn't driving and we never saw him drive," Troyer said. "We were never even told where or when (the crash) happened"... [Fife City Manager Dave] Zabell said Farnworth was investigated for allegations of leaving the scene of an accident and destruction of public property through neglect. The question of neglect is whether Farnworth was "not taking due care while operating a piece of equipment," Zabell said. He said Farnworth wasn't given a blood-alcohol test after the incident. The city manager said the crash didn't take place in Fife, but he doesn't know exactly where it occurred. He would not say whether there was anyone else in the car. Zabell said he doesn't expect Sumner's administrative investigation will conclude whether or not Farnworth was drinking and driving. "I don't think they could come to a conclusion whether he was legally under the influence," Zabell said... Zabell praised Farnworth, who now lives in Auburn, in a letter Friday accepting his resignation... "I saw ample evidence of an individual who did some outstanding work as a Fife police officer and detective, demonstrated considerable compassion to crime victims, and received recognition by peers within and outside of FPD (Fife Police Department) for your contributions to the profession." Fife says it has no department police report because the incident did not occur within city limits. The sheriff's department report only covers its call to Farnworth's house, and doesn't address how the patrol car was wrecked. A Fife police supervisor's one-page report contains a one-sentence description of what was reported at 10 p.m. Dec. 27: "While driving home Det. Farnworth struck a cement traffic barrier with his vehicle." The report by Fife Commander Tim Floyd says Farnworth was not injured but doesn't say where he crashed... [Full article here]

  2. AnonymousJune 27, 2011

    I find this strange Since all officers are Trained to be able to tell if a civilian is under the influence, but when it comes to a fellow office they protect themselves, very interesting. yet my BAC. level was under the limit and the court refused to allow it enter into evidence. i call for a mistrial. the court system is a joke


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