Trooper arrested on DUI, firearm possession charges

BRYAN HALE

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper was arrested early Tuesday for driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of a firearm while intoxicated.

Records obtained from the Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office under an open records request indicate deputies received a call of a vehicle sitting in the middle of the highway on state Highway 1 East near County Road 3610. Responding to that call, deputies discovered a man “slumped over in the vehicle” with the windows rolled up, the engine running and doors locked. Sometime after the deputies’ arrival, as they worked to get his attention, the man awoke and began to drive eastbound, traveling slowly away from the deputies.

Deputies indicate they were able to get the man’s attention and stop the vehicle shortly after 3:41 a.m. Deputies identified the man as Lt. Bryan Hale, 47, currently assigned to OHP’s Troop W, Marine Enforcement Division. Deputies reported Hale appeared to be confused, and they had difficulty understanding him at times. Upon opening the door to the vehicle, deputies reported smelling a “strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle,” and the discovery of a loaded Sig Sauer P226 pistol in the door.

Deputies report they asked Hale if he had been drinking, and he said “yes.”

Records indicate Hale refused repeated requests from deputies to step out of the vehicle and to stop reaching between the seats, eventually leading them to conclude Hale would have to be physically removed from the vehicle. But, when deputies reached for Hale to extract him from the vehicle, they report, he cursed at them and then stepped out of the vehicle, glaring at them as he continued to ignore additional instructions to walk to the rear of his vehicle.

Deputies report they eventually walked Hale to the rear of his vehicle, noting Hale used “the side of his vehicle for balance, and he appeared to be unsteady on his feet.”

According to reports filed, Hale continued to be uncooperative with deputies, refusing to place his hands on his head or comply with instructions during a pat-down search, during which deputies discovered a “large pocket knife” with “a lieutenant with OHP emblem on the handle.” Inside the vehicle, deputies report they also discovered a large flashlight and a portable breath test machine.

Deputies report asking Hale if he was in law enforcement, to which he replied “yes,” then refused to tell deputies the agency with which he was employed. Hale was placed under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. Records indicate Hale refused to take the state’s Implied Consent blood test and refused to sign a DUI test refusal form.

Hale is currently being held without bond at the Pontotoc County Justice Center on a charge of possession of a firearm while intoxicated and in lieu of a $300 bond on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Contact Carl Lewis at (580) 310-7520, or by email at clewis@theadanews.com

Editor

Carl Lewis is the editor of The Ada News. He's an aspiring photographer, an unabashed fan of Apple products and an avid coffee swiller. Contact Carl at (580) 310-7520, or by email at clewis@theadanews.com.