By J. NOEL ESPINOZA
Special to the NEWS
A dashcam video released by the Harlingen Police Department shows San Benito Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees President Michael A. Vargas incoherent the night of his arrest for driving while intoxicated.
The video begins when officer Arnoldo Maldonado approaches Vargas’ black vehicle in the Taco Bell parking lot along the 1500 block of Ed Carey Drive July 5.
Apparently, Vargas was found passed out when the officer tries to make contact with him.
The car’s lights were on and the officer turned them off when he opened the door and identifies himself as officer Maldonado from Harlingen police. The officer then tells Vargas whether he’s okay to drive and where he’s coming from.
The officer tells Vargas to stay awake and tries to get his name, but only incoherent words are uttered from Vargas.
“Is that what’s happening?” Vargas appears to say.
When officer Maldonado asks Vargas where he’s coming from. When the officer asks again, Vargas seems to respond, “From meew.”
After the officer repeats the same, he tells Vargas, “I can see that your eyes are real red, I can smell the odor of alcohol from your breath, and I can barely understand what you are saying.”
The officer then asks Vargas whether he remembers how many alcoholic beverages he drank and whether he was coming from a bar.
It seems Vargas said that he was drinking with a guy. “It was him who invited me,” Vargas said, “..the guy.” Then the officer asks whether it was at a bar or at his place. “At his place,” Vargas said.
Then, Maldonado asks whether he knows where he lives and Vargas responded, “I have no idea.”
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