A former St. Louis police officer recently pleaded guilty in connection with a St. Louis car crash that injured his passenger and another cop in the early morning of Christmas Eve in 2011.
Michael Schinner, who was 27 at the time, was drunk, speeding, and traveling the wrong way on a one-way street when he crashed into a fellow officer's vehicle a little after 2 a.m. on December 24, 2011.
He was off-duty at the time and was headed the wrong way on De Tonty Street when he crashed into a police-owned Chevrolet Silverado near Tower Grove Avenue.
The other police officer, Darryl Monroe, suffered injuries to his hip and leg. Schinner's passenger, then-28-year-old Brian Cole, suffered a serious head injury that included bleeding in his brain. Cole, who had planned to attend the Police Academy, has since recovered from his injuries.
Police who responded to the scene of the St. Louis car accident noted that Schinner smelled of alcohol and appeared disoriented. There were also two empty beer bottles in the car.
Schinner refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test, and police did not request a search warrant to force him to take the test.
However, the prosecution had enough evidence to convict Schinner even without the BAC level confirmation. He pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault for causing injury by driving while intoxicated.
At the time of the accident, Schinner had been with the St. Louis police force for three years and had been honored as Officer of the Month for District 8 in May 2010. After the crash, he was suspended indefinitely. He is now in a different career field.
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