An Atlanta police lieutenant is facing a charge of driving under the influence after he allegedly crashed his car in Paulding County early Sunday and fled from a nearby hospital, the Georgia State Patrol said.
Renato Anaya, 48, who has been with the department for more than two decades, was placed on “non-enforcement status” after his arrest, according to a statement by Atlanta police, which launched an internal investigation into the incident.
“Chief (Darin) Schierbaum and APD commanders take incidents like this very seriously and will review the outcome of the investigation to determine the next steps,” the statement added. “At this time, the investigation continues.”
A GSP trooper found Anaya’s overturned vehicle just after midnight on Macland Road near Mount Tabor Church Road to the east of Dallas. According to the GSP, Anaya was driving a black Nissan Xterra eastbound when the vehicle traveled off the shoulder and struck a Paulding Department of Transportation “Stop Ahead” sign. The vehicle then went down a 15-foot embankment and overturned, a crash report stated.
The trooper said they could smell alcohol on Anaya’s breath and noticed an open Modelo beer, as well as Atlanta police-issued gear inside the vehicle. Anaya stated he was an Atlanta officer and allegedly admitted to drinking wine about four hours before the crash, according to the GSP.
Anaya was taken to Wellstar Paulding Hospital, where he provided a breath sample that tested positive for ethyl alcohol, the GSP said. He later agreed to a blood test but fled the hospital as the trooper was grabbing a blood draw kit from his patrol vehicle, authorities said.
The Paulding sheriff’s office and Cobb County K-9 unit assisted with the search but were unable to locate Anaya, the GSP said. Around 5:30 a.m., a Hiram police officer found him at a nearby RaceTrac gas station.
Anaya was booked into the Paulding jail and is facing additional charges of failure to maintain lane and open container in motor vehicle. He was released Sunday evening after posting bond, according to online records.
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