A reporter for a local television news station was arrested Wednesday in what appears to be a night of driving under the influence and fleeing from law enforcement.
According to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office website, Bryan Turner West, 30, was booked into jail Thursday.
Court records on the arrest requested through Maricopa County Superior Court was released to Independent Newsmedia shortly after 5 p.m.
The charges include one count of unlawful flight from law enforcement, a class 5 felony, and four misdemeanor DUI counts, including super DUI, which requires a BAC above 0.20.
Mr. West is a reporter for 12 News- KPNX in Phoenix.
12 News in their 4 p.m. newscast acknowledged the arrest that occurred Wednesday night, saying Mr. West was found to be about three times over the legal BAC limit.
Court records show the arrest happened in Phoenix near 7th Avenue and Filmore Street.
The Daily News-Sun (Independent Newsmedia) reached out to 12 News before that announcement. Its parent company, TEGNA, was also reached for comment on the charges and whether he was working at the time of the incident.
The Maricopa County Superior Court published a video of his initial appearance on Thursday, with Sean Forrester representing Mr. West.
During the appearance, Mr. Forrester said he couldn’t find probable cause for the fleeing from law enforcement charge, saying some of the necessary elements – the activation of sirens and emergency lights – were not present.
However, a court judge read through documents and said Mr. West rolled down his window during the stop, expressed a state of surprise on his face, “in effect acknowledging he saw law enforcement was there…” and then police responded by “going after him after he sped away.”
The judge upheld the unlawful flight from law enforcement charge.
Court documents state employees told police a person inside a vehicle at a McDonald’s drive-thru appeared to be drunk, was yelling, rammed a vehicle, and refused to leave.
When police arrived the male driver left the drive-thru but came back around the restaurant and stopped by the officers.
That was when he rolled the windows down, looked at the officers with a look of surprise on his face and took off, records state.
The driver led police on the streets at 50 mph in a 25 mph zone, during which he almost hit parked vehicles. He pulled into a parking lot where he nearly hit a bicyclist and another vehicle, records state.
He exited the vehicle, and police took him into custody. During, he reportedly said the officer was “ruining his life.”
Police identified him as Mr. West.
Court records state he had a BAC of 0.239, about three times the legal limit in Arizona.
The court released Mr. West on his own recognizance to pretrial services. He must also submit to alcohol testing and monitoring.
Mr. Forrester requested the own recognizance release based on Mr. West having no prior criminal or DUI history, having a lot of connections in the community as a reporter and being an accomplished young man.
“If you know his name, you know what he does,” Mr. Forrester said in court.
“This is just abhorrent behavior, if you look at his criminal history,” Mr. Forrester said about his danger to the community. “Whether it’s a bad night or something similar, I don’t think this speaks to his character.”
Another well-known face in the community recently arrested for DUI charges was Arizona Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim, who has been in the position since 2013.
He was pulled over on suspicion of DUI in Chandler on July 4, the Associated Press reported.
Mr. Keim later apologized for what he said was “incredibly poor judgment and inexcusable actions.”
He was suspended for five weeks by the Cardinals, and will miss out on Saturday’s preseason opener at home against the Los Angeles Chargers.
In a statement, Mr. Keim said he failed to meet NFL standards of behavior and that he accepts full responsibility for his actions.
According to his biography page on 12 News, Mr. West has been with the company since 2011.
12 News and TEGNA did not immediately respond to questions regarding the arrest. It is unknown what the company’s policies are when employees are arrested for DUI or fleeing from law enforcement.
Mr. Forrester was also reached for comment.
As of Friday afternoon, none had responded.
The story also appears in the Daily News-Sun Aug. 11 edition.
Reporter Chris Caraveo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.