SPIRO, OKLAHOMA (KFSM) – The principal of the Spiro High School was suspended with pay after being arrested Monday evening (Aug. 18) on suspicion of carrying a firearm while drunk and driving under the influence of alcohol, according to court documents.
Tracy S. Saling, 50, of Bokoshe was stopped after a Poteau police officer noticed him driving left-of-center several times on the road. The officer also noted in the report that Saling activated his turn signal multiple times for no apparent reason, court documents state.
The school district released this statement, “Tracy Saling our high school principal has been suspended with pay from his duties with the Spiro Public Schools pending completion of an ongoing investigation. Because this is a personnel matter, no one with the Spiro Public Schools will comment further regarding it. I will have no further comment.”
Saling’s reaction and movements were slow after he was pulled over, and he had slurred speech. The officer also said in the report that a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage could be detected through the driver’s side window, according to court documents.
When asked to exit his vehicle, Saling was unsteady on his feet, and the officer noted he had bloodshot eyes, court documents state.
Saling told the officer he “had a little to drink,” and inside the truck Saling was driving, the officer found an open container of beer on the passenger floorboard, according to court documents.
The officer also found several unopened containers of beer, court documents state.
Saling told the officer he had a loaded .40 caliber pistol in the vehicle, and the officer found a loaded Browning Arms .40 caliber pistol under the driver’s seat, according to court documents.
The pistol had 10 rounds in the magazine and one round loaded in the chamber. Saling did have a valid Oklahoma handgun license on him, and the officer told him it was illegal to have a loaded firearm while drunk, court documents state.
The officer confiscated the firearm and transported Saling to the Poteau Police Department for booking. While at the department, Saling took a breath test, and his breath alcohol content was 0.29, according to court documents.
Saling was booked into the LeFlore County Detention Center, and he faces charges of DUI, transporting an open container of beer and possession of a loaded firearm while intoxicated, court documents state.