Arrested journalist blasts department’s top DUI cop

Officer Kasi Beutel

SANTA BARBARA – Santa Barbara police Chief Cam Sanchez is on the offensive, rebutting a June 22 investigative report published in The Santa Barbara News-Press calling into question the nature of DUI enforcement in the city.

Just after midnight on Jan. 1, DUI enforcement specialist Kasi Beutel arrested a local man for driving under the influence after he blew a .09 blood-alcohol level on a field sobriety test. The district attorney subsequently filed a DUI case based upon the report of Officer Beutel, often heralded by the department as having a record of more than 300 DUI arrests during her six-year career.

Peter Lance

What police and district attorney officials didn’t anticipate was that the arrestee in this case, Peter Lance, 63, is a well-regarded investigative journalist with five Emmys and numerous published books focusing on government malfeasance and corruption to his credit.

Turning his attention to the officer who arrested him and the department that employs her, Lance wrote a series of articles accusing Beutel of forging the signatures of arrestees in waiving blood tests and filing a fraudulent bankruptcy claim.

On June 22, Lance published the first of five reports describing “the reigning queen of an elite group of cops who specialize in arresting drunken drivers.”

His first installment goes on to report that Officer Beutel — who arrested him just after midnight on New Year’s day — is responsible for “more than half the felony and misdemeanor DUI collars of the entire Santa Barbara Police Department with a record three times that of her closest uniformed colleague.”

Lance’s first installment quickly drew the ire of Beutel’s fellow officers, and without refuting any of Lance’s points, blitzed the local media with a lengthy diatribe that included every element of the events leading to Lance’s DUI bust.

“Police Chief Cam Sanchez and the entire Santa Barbara Police Department support Officer Kasi Beutel,” said police spokesman Lt. Paul McCaffrey. “To publish an attack story against a police officer, written by the man she arrested … is simply unprofessional.”

For his part, Lance alleges in his initial journalistic installment that Officer Beutel placed him in handcuffs and threatened to take him to jail after he “politely inquired if there might be a quota, that being a holiday night.” Lance also claims that Beutel blocked the exit port of the breathalyzer while administering his blood-alcohol test .

These were but two of the allegations drawing heat from Chief Sanchez and others in the department who support Beutel’s professionalism, and just the tip of the iceberg in Lance’s reportage of his arresting officer’s career statistics and the many awards she has garnered over the past few years.

The News-Press article goes into specific detail of Beutel’s employment history and performance claims, with many “revelations” reported by Lance that include  “a nationally ranked handwriting expert … [swearing] under penalty of perjury that the signatures of arrestees who purportedly waived blood tests witnessed by Officer Beutel were forged” as well as “evidence that … Kasi Beutel committed fraud in a 2000 Chapter 7 bankruptcy.”

McCaffrey, in reacting to the News-Press report, was terse:  “Chief Cam Sanchez denounces this one-sided article and the decision to publish it as seriously flawed and unprofessional.”

These were but two of the allegations drawing heat from Chief Sanchez and others in the department who support Beutel’s professionalism, and just the tip of the iceberg in Lance’s reportage of his arresting officer’s career statistics and the many awards she has garnered over the past few years.



Arrested journalist blasts department’s top DUI cop was last modified: January 10th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara