A Union City police officer charged with driving while intoxicated and assault by auto last month after a two-car crash in Hoboken last month admitted to drinking three beers, police body camera footage shows.
“ … Don’t let that change your judgement: if he passes, he passes, if he fails, he fails – you understand?”, Hoboken Police Lt. David Olivera said to Officer Anthony Rutkowski on October 16th while showing him the police ID of Kevin Roldan, 24, of Union City.
“Gotcha,” Rutkowski, who is certified in the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), before approaching Roldan and asking what happened during the roughly 3 a.m. crash.
“The light was turning yellow, I kept driving, it turned red, and I got clipped,” Roldan said to Rutkowski, clarifying that the light was yellow when he drove through Paterson Avenue near Harrison Street.
Roldan said he was hanging out with a friend when asked what he was doing that evening, admitting that he drank “a little bit,” going on to say that he consumed three beers.
Both cars had their airbags deployed and the other driver, a 23-year-old woman from Jersey City, complained of neck and shoulder pain afterwards. She told police that Roldan had struck her vehicle after running a red light.
The police body camera footage, along with the police report, was obtained through an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request, shows Roldan performing the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test, a walk and turn test, and a one leg stand.
“Based on my observations and Roldan’s performance of the tests, I determined that Roldan was too impaired to safely operate a motor vehicle and was placed under arrest for driving while intoxicated,” Rutkowski wrote in the report.
He also indicated that Roldan was unable to complete the one leg stand, putting his foot down and restarting the count several times.
Roldan was cooperative throughout the incident, was unarmed, and off-duty when the crash occurred, the body camera videos show.
Additionally, the police report states he was also charged with reckless driving, as well as that the breathalyzer at the Hoboken Police Department came back with an inconclusive result, prompting Roldan to be transported to the Port Authority Police Department.
While that yielded a result, it was not stated outright in the report. Rutkowski also pointed out that he searched Roldan’s car for intoxicants and did not find any before both vehicles were towed.