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Aurora Police Sergeant John Moreland Arrested For DUI, Obstructing Police; Allegedly Ran From DUI Stop

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)- CBS4 has learned that Aurora Police Sgt. John James Moreland, 41, was arrested Monday for suspected DUI by Denver police and has also been charged with obstructing a peace officer. He was off-duty at the time.

Denver police say Moreland ran away on foot after he was stopped, but returned a few minutes later.

"We will not be commenting on this case," said Aurora Police spokesman Lt. Chris Amsler when contacted by CBS4, "until it has been adjudicated in the courts and not until the completion of our Internal Affairs Investigation."

John Moreland pic
John Moreland (credit: Aurora Police)

Amsler said Sgt. Moreland has been placed on paid administrative leave. Moreland declined to speak to CBS4 about what happened. He has been with the Aurora Police Department since 2007.

Amsler referred questions to the Denver Police Department. Denver's records coordinator did not immediately release records requested by CBS4 of what happened and referred questions to Denver police public information officers.

Court records show Moreland was arrested on the 4400 block of Tower Road in Denver on July 5. He was charged with obstructing a peace officer, lane usage violation and driving under the influence.

In a probable cause statement, Denver police said Moreland was stopped for failing to drive in a single lane. They wrote he appeared impaired with slurred speech, an odor of alcohol on his breath and "balance was swaying." He was not offered voluntary Standardized Field Sobriety Tests due to immediate custody as he fled the scene on foot, but did return a few minutes later.

Denver Police say Moreland refused a chemical test for alcohol.

This is not Moreland's first run-in with the law involving alcohol since becoming an Aurora police officer.

In October 2016, Arapahoe County sheriff's deputies arrested Moreland for being under the influence and in possession of a loaded gun.

In that case, Moreland had been drinking heavily according to a friend, and the police officer attempted to get into a neighbor's truck "because he thought it was his truck. Apparently John had the wrong house," wrote Arapahoe County Sheriff's deputies.

Moreland told deputies he was not armed but deputies reported finding a loaded Ruger .380 handgun in his pocket. A portable breath test showed Moreland's alcohol level at .208, well over the .08 limit for a DUI in Colorado.

Moreland pleaded guilty to prohibited use of a weapon, a Class 2 misdemeanor. He received a 12-month deferred judgment. When he successfully completed his sentence, the guilty plea was withdrawn and the count was dismissed.

Court records show Moreland is due back in court Aug. 4 on the Denver case.

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