Video shows off-duty Palatka officer moments before DUI arrest

Officer Orestes Cossio on administrative leave pending investigation

By Corley Peel - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - News4Jax has obtained viewer video of an off-duty Palatka police officer taken shortly before he was arrested and charged with DUI.

Officer Orestes Cossio, who has been with the Palatka Police Department since May 2016, was arrested Monday and posted bond. He's on administrative leave pending an investigation.

ORIGINAL STORY: Off-duty Palatka officer charged with driving patrol car drunk

Jeffrey Creasy called 911 and captured Cossio on camera. In the video, the plainclothes officer appears to be stumbling, swearing and yelling.

Before the officer was arrested, Creasy said Cossio approached him at the Mobil Gas Station on Reid Street.

"He came up and asked me for a cigarette, and he could barely keep his composure," Creasy said. "Then he took another cigarette. He just grabbed a cigarette out of my pack and he goes, 'Thanks man.'"

Creasy said Cossio became suspicious when he noticed the officer wasn't in uniform. When Creasy asked Cossio about his patrol car, he said Cossio told him it was a rental.

"I said, 'Dude, they don't rent cars like this.' I said, 'That says Palatka car 36 on the side of your car. Where did you get your car?' and then he just sped off," Cossio said.

Responding officers found Cossio in his car near the Memorial Bridge, investigators said. 

Cossio was arrested and charged with burglary in Monroe County in 2006. Investigators said the charge was cleared from his criminal history because he completed an intervention program. 

Because the charge was removed from his records, police said his background check was clean and he was eligible to join the department in 2016.

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