TARPON SPRINGS — An off-duty Clearwater police officer was arrested and charged with a DUI early Tuesday morning after he behaved erratically while interacting with officers, according to the Tarpon Springs Police Department.
Two uniformed Tarpon Springs officers were parked in marked patrol vehicles at 501 S. Pinellas Ave. when they say a car being driven erratically entered the parking lot around 1:10 a.m. and came to a stop near one of the officers.
Police said the driver, later identified as 37-year-old Brian R. Tejera, parked and started talking with one of the officers. He exhibited strange behavior and made “unusual and erratic statements,” according to a news release. One of the officers said he heard what he believed to be a semi-automatic handgun slide being manipulated.
The officers confronted Tejera, and he voluntarily left his car to speak with them, the Police Department said. Officers verified that a handgun was in the vehicle and the magazine had been removed, police said.
While speaking with Tejera, officers determined that he was an off-duty Clearwater police officer in a private vehicle, the release said.
Officers requested a patrol supervisor to respond to the situation and said they had determined that Tejera was under the influence of alcohol, the Police Department said. He was eventually aggressive towards officers, the release said, but he was taken into custody without the use of force.
Tejera was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and charged with a DUI. His supervisors at the Clearwater Police Department were contacted regarding the incident, the release said.