Rogers Firefighter Fired After Driving Drunk Without A Tire, Officials Say
A Rogers firefighter lost his job Monday after police say he drove drunk without a tire and was found with marijuana.
Caleb Rafael Ortega, 26, of Springdale, was arrested Saturday in connection with possession of marijuana, driving while intoxicated and having no insurance, according to a preliminary report from the Fayetteville Police Department. All charges are misdemeanors. He was released the same day from the Washington County Detention Center on $1,790 bond.
Chief Tom Jenkins said Ortega was in his first year as a firefighter with the Rogers Fire Department. The department conducted an internal investigation and interviewed Ortega on Monday, the same day Ortega was dismissed.
A caller contacted police early Saturday morning to report a white car driving on its rims without a tire at the Fast Trax gas station on 15th Street and School Avenue in Fayetteville, the report states.
Officers responded to the scene and found Ortega parked with bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and an odor of intoxicants. Officers searched Ortega and found a plastic bag of marijuana, according to the report.
Ortega told police the drugs were not his and that he probably had three or four beers that night. He also said he was going to leave his car at the gas station and call a taxi. Police arrested him at the scene, the preliminary report states.
The car’s wheel rim, headlight and bumper had extensive damage, and the car’s passenger-side airbag had been deployed. Ortega refused to take an alcohol test, police said.