Hazel Park police officer suspected of driving drunk, crashing in Lapeer

Published On: Mar 15 2013 06:14:31 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 16 2013 02:09:12 PM EDT

He called in sick, but he was actually out drinking, police say.

LAPEER, Mich. -

Sources say Hazel Park police officer Matthew Viviano called in sick on Wednesday. However, the cop was playing hookie.

Detectives say Viviano hit the booze, got drunk and then got behind the wheel. He later crashed in Lapeer.

"I heard a, 'boom, boom!' So I right away got up and looked out the window and all I see is a car upside down," said Galen Krawczak, who lives near the crash scene.

Police say Viviano was driving drunk when his pickup truck drove off the road, flipped and landed in a ditch on Baldwin Street in Lapeer.

"I called 911 right away," said Krawczak.

The officer walked away from the crash without a scratch. However, he has been stripped of his badge for now. Hazel Park Police Chief Martin Barner suspended Viviano without pay.

"Obviously, as police officer you're expected ... you're held to a higher standard than the general public, and it's very disappointing," said Barner. "At the conclusion of the investigation it will be determined what his punishment will be."

Local 4 is told Viviano did submit to a breathalyzer test at the scene of the crash.

"I know they're humans too, but you know, when they got drinking problems they need to take care of it before somebody gets killed or something," said Krawczak.

Viviano is a 17-year veteran with a clean record.


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