Off-duty Palatka officer charged with driving patrol car drunk

Officer Orestes Cossio charged with DUI, placed on administrative leave

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

PALATKA, Fla. - A police officer was arrested and charged with DUI after a concerned citizen witnessed what appeared to be an intoxicated man driving a patrol car, according to a release from the Palatka Police Department.

At about 2:20 p.m. Monday, the police department received a call from the man who told a dispatcher that he witnessed someone who might have been intoxicated wearing civilian clothing in a marked police car at the Mobil gas station on Reid Street, the release said.

Responding officers found the patrol car parked next to the foot of the Memorial Bridge near the Millennium Clock Tower, according to police. While approaching the car, they found Officer Orestes Cossio sitting in the driver's seat.

According to police, Cossio was off-duty and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. After learning of the situation, Chief Jason Shaw called for assistance from the Florida Highway Patrol.

After troopers conducted an investigation, Cossio was placed under arrest and charged with DUI. He's been placed on administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation.

According to the release, Cossio has been employed with the Palatka Police Department since May 2016.

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