Sep 21, 2011 11:31 PM by John Romero

Attorney questions police judgment after Hooters bust

The judgment of two undercover CSPD agents is under question after a 19 year old Hooters waitress was charged with serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.

For answers we went straight to CSPD to see the report for ourselves. In the report, two undercover agents and a confidential informant entered the Citadel Mall Hooters back in late June. They were performing undercover alcohol compliance checks. The agents say the man was extremely drunk and causing a disruption. "They're documenting now that his speech is slurred. He's eyes are looking pretty squinted and he's slumping in his chair." explains Sgt. Steve Noblitt with CSPD, "He was very loud. He was throwing the "f word" around and being pretty loud and obnoxious."

Police say when the waitress continued to serve him drinks they cited her for serving him. Her attorney, Patrick Mika, presented us with a picture taken by police. It shows two empty glasses at their table. "Those glasses serve only alcohol or beer in them." he explains, "We believe that the officers in this case were drinking at the time."

CSPD admits that the agents were drinking. But they say it's a normal part of alcohol compliance checks like this one. "They will order beers." says Noblitt, "They'll sip on the beers and do what they need to do to blend in and take on an actor's role.'

In court it was argued that the agents may not have used the best judgment due to their alcohol consumption. "I can tell you that if you're doing an undercover investigation at a restaurant.... Not a bar but a restaurant and this is a restaurant... You don't need to be drinking alcohol when you're doing that." says Mika.

Police say that's not the case at all. They sip to give the illusion that they're actually drinking more. The department stands behind its officers and says they were never impaired. "They're not going to drink to the point where their safety or their abilities to make judgments would be compromised." answers Noblitt.

Even so, Mika isn't buying it. "These people misrepresented, in my opinion, the truth of that investigation." says Mika. "The officers didn't misrepresent themselves here." responds Noblitt, "In the case they had their case written and that's what they provided to the attorneys."

As far as the actual cases against Hooters and the waitress are concerned, the city has since dropped all charges.



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