DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver police officer who was charged, then cleared of pulling a gun at an Aurora McDonald’s restaurant when his food took too long, has been arrested again for driving under the influence and driving nearly 100 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.
Officer Derrick Curtis Saunders was charged with felony menacing and weapons charges in connection with an incident in May 2009 at the McDonalds at 18181 East Hampden Avenue. Workers said Saunders was one of two off-duty Denver officers who pulled up to the drive through in the early morning hours and placed an order from their car. Once at the drive through, an employee said the men became agitated and angry at how long their food was taking and their sense that they were being ignored. A male clerk said Saunders flashed his police badge and pointed a pistol at the worker in a threatening manner.
But an Arapahoe County jury acquitted Saunders in April of all charges. On the stand in his own defense, Saunders denied brandishing a gun at the drive through window.
Since that acquittal, the Colorado State Patrol arrested Saunders for DUI, speeding at more than 40 miles per hour over the posted speed limit and reckless driving. According to court records, the arrest was made by the State Patrol on Gun Club Road in Arapahoe County late on the night of June 17. Documents say Saunders was at the wheel of a 2008 Infiniti that was clocked at 143 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone. Saunders submitted to a DUI test which the Colorado State Patrol says showed the officer was legally drunk.
Saunders is facing a potential of 44 points against his license. An arraignment has been set for Sept. 23.
A Denver Police Department spokesperson says the department is aware of Saunders’ latest arrest.
“We currently have an internal investigation into this incident,” wrote Lt. Matt Murray. “As you are aware, we do not comment on internal investigations.”
Murray said Saunders is on the job, “assigned to a desk non-line assignment.”
— Written by Brian Maass