Task Force officer arrested, suspended

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Lewisburg Police detective assigned to the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force was suspended Saturday night by the police chief in connection with his arrest on a charge of public intoxication at an East Commerce Street sports restaurant.

Detective Chad Webster, 26, surrendered his badge, ID card and service gun Monday morning to Police Chief Chuck Forbis who said Webster expressed regret and apologized for the behavior that led to his suspension with pay pending a review of the records related to the detective's arrest.

Sgt. Anthony McLean arrested Webster in the parking lot of Omar's Sports Grille. A patron had called police.

"Our officers responded to a call at Omar's and when they saw who it was, they called me," Forbis said, estimating the call's time as at about 9:50 p.m. Aug. 28.

"Webster was unable to stand on his own," McLean reported, adding that the detective was "irate" and stated several times, "You know me and this is a bunch of bull (feathers.)"

It took three officers to take him to the ground in order to cuff him, according to McLean's report.

The owner of Omar's told police Webster had been drinking beer and shots of tequila, and had been "buying rounds for everyone at the bar," McLean wrote.

Webster was a patrol officer for about two or three years before being transferred to the task force as a detective, Forbis said, estimating Webster's time on the task force at about two years.

Forbis hoped to have sufficient documentation by sometime on Tuesday so that he may make a determination as to what should be done with regard to Webster's employment, the chief said during a telephone interview. Webster was suspended with pay.

"It's too early to tell" what, if any, effect Webster's arrest will have on cases that he's been making with the task force, Forbis said.

Officially known as the 17th Judicial District Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, the plain clothes police officers are technically under the district attorney's office which has jurisdiction in Marshall, Bedford, Lincoln and Moore counties. Director Tim Lane leads the task force. Its headquarters are in Shelbyville. Law enforcement officers from town and city police departments and sheriffs' departments provide personnel for the task force.

District Attorney Chuck Crawford was aware of the arrest, but not all the details when reached on Sunday afternoon.

"We're going to have to see what exactly happened ... and will act accordingly," Crawford said.

The director of the task force didn't have any comment on the arrest.

"The main reason is that he's a police officer from the Lewisburg Police Department," Lane said. "It's his man. I wouldn't want to speak out of place."

Asked if there would be any deleterious effects on court cases still to be brought to court, Lane replied, "There will not be any."

Webster's bond was set at $1,000, and he is scheduled to be in Lewisburg City Court on Sept. 13.