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    WaPo Gives Beto’s Claim He Didn’t Try to Leave the Scene of His DWI Accident 4 Pinocchios – False

    WaPo Gives Beto’s Claim He Didn’t Try to Leave the Scene of His DWI Accident 4 Pinocchios – False

    A few weeks ago, the police report from Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s DWI was released. In the report, a witness claimed O’Rourke attempted to flee the scene of the DWI.

    O’Rourke got off scot-free (I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that his Daddy was a judge). He’s never kept the DWI a secret — having dealt with it when running for Congress, but never mentioned or denied trying to bail.

    It’s taken O’Rourke several weeks, but he finally responded during the first of three debates with Ted Cruz, saying, “I did not try to leave the scene of the accident, though driving drunk, which I did, is a terrible mistake for which there is no excuse or justification or defense, and I will not try to provide one.”

    The Washington Post rates this claim 4 Pinocchios.

    They outlined the facts as follows:

    In his DWI interview, O’Rourke said he last ate at 7 p.m. — pasta — and consumed two beers. He also mentioned that he had a cold.

    The incident was observed by a witness. He told Carrera that O’Rourke, driving a Volvo, passed him at high speed through a 70 mph zone and then lost control and “struck a truck traveling the same direction.” O’Rourke’s car then crossed the large grassy center median and came to a stop. (This videodepicts Interstate 10 near the location of the crash.)

    “The defendant/driver then attempted to leave the scene,” Carrera reported. “The reporter then turned on his overhead lights to warn oncoming traffic and try to get the defendant to stop.”

    Similar information appears in another document, the incident and crime report: “The driver attempted to leave the accident but was stopped by the reporter.”

    There are some inconsistencies in the police records — O’Rourke’s Volvo is described as both black and green, and he’s traveling either west or east — but the witness to the crash is twice described as saying O’Rourke tried to leave the scene of the crash. The witness is not identified. We could not locate Carrera for further comment.

    The charges were dismissed after O’Rourke completed a court-approved diversion program, the Chronicle said. His father had been El Paso County Judge, an elected position, from 1982-1986 and was running for the position again in 1998 after switching parties from Democrat to Republican. (He lost.)

    An O’Rourke campaign spokesman did not respond to emails or text messages.

    After the WaPo report was published, hoards of O’Rourke supporters complained that 4 Pinocchios was unfair. That Beto has owned his role in this sin of youth and has never made light of it. WaPo was not impressed and responded:

    Update: Several readers objected to this fact check, saying we could not rely on police reports because they often have have incomplete and contradictory information. Readers noted that O’Rourke was not charged with leaving the scene, other possible witness were not interviewed and the police officer did not personally observe O’Rourke trying to flee. Some readers suggested that O’Rourke was simply trying to move his car. It is worth noting, however, that the O’Rourke campaign refused to respond to repeated queries and O’Rourke did not directly answer a question about the information contained in the police reports. We provided the opportunity to set the record straight — and heard nothing.

    The Pinocchio Test

    At The Fact Checker, we place a high value on contemporaneous records. The police reports show not only that O’Rourke was highly intoxicated but that a witness to the crash said he tried to leave the scene.

    O’Rourke was so drunk that he could barely get out of the car without falling, so perhaps he would not have gotten far — or he was simply confused. Perhaps in his memory, O’Rourke believes he did not try to leave. But, given his blood alcohol content at the time of the crash, O’Rourke’s memory 20 years after the fact is not nearly as credible as the police reports written just hours after the crash.

    O’Rourke could have dodged the question during the debate or he could have said his memory of the night is not clear. Instead, he chose to dispute the factual record. We also believe in second chances, and O’Rourke should revise his answer if given another opportunity. In the meantime, he earns Four Pinocchios.


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    Will those front teeth continue to grow if Bobby gnaws through facts?

    Joe-dallas | September 25, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    An actual police report and actual witness – DUI – almost killed someone with his car – no problem – an outstanding qualification.

    Recovered memory of attempted rape with no witnesses even though party attended with 5 people –
    Totally disqualifying

    oldgoat36 | September 25, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Beto being a liar makes him fit right in with the Democratic Party.

    He deserves to get his clock cleaned, and I hope all those California idiots who donated to his campaign regret funding him.

      ss396 in reply to oldgoat36. | September 26, 2018 at 10:01 am

      His campaign has an extended outreach effort: they even contacted me. So I asked if Beto was going to be a Texas Senator or a third California Senator?

      They assured me that he’ll be a Texas Senator, so I asked him why don’t Texans support his campaign then? Why does he need so much California money, and do you truly think that money comes without strings?

      They don’t call me anymore.

    tom_swift | September 25, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    “The defendant/driver then attempted to leave the scene,” Carrera reported.

    Vague to the point of uselessness. Who the hell talks like that, anyway? Somebody who watches too many police procedurals on TV, that’s who.

    but the witness to the crash is twice described as saying O’Rourke tried to leave the scene of the crash.

    Multiple repetitions still make it just one guy’s story.

    Sorry, really not excited about rubbishing a guy for something he may have done, or may not have done, but which wasn’t a big enough deal to merit law-enforcement action at the time. Whether that guy is Kavanaugh or O’Rourke.

      Colonel Travis in reply to tom_swift. | September 25, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      But when he’s asked about it and he clearly defies the police report, does that not concern you?

      Here’s the report

      gonzotx in reply to tom_swift. | September 25, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      His father had been a judge in Texas. What is it about political pull you don’t understand?
      Then to compare Beto with Kavanaugh?
      Disgusting actually

      Take your meds please

      Not quite “uselessness” but it’s less than clear.

      This is actually standard language that you see in the El Paso Police Officers reports (they’re BAD writers). This is part of the reason that the Defense attorneys all groan when they see that someone was pulled over by the State Troopers rather than the El Paso Police Department. The State Troopers generally write better, more complete reports.

      Having practiced in El Paso, I actually know the section of the road that they’re referencing. Depending on which way he was going , once the collision occurred, O’Rourke (in his inebriated condition) may have thought to himself “The New Mexico State border is RIGHT THERE. Maybe I can get across it, and wait it out until I’m sober, and then only have a ‘leaving the scene of an accident’ charge.” But that’s ENTIRELY my reading of the context clues, I have no knowledge outside the public sphere.

      As for the Pre-Trial Diversion he was granted, that is somewhat standard for “first time” offenses. The UTEP thing sounds like it was never officially pursued and was dropped. The DA policy there is that they only give PDT ONCE. For a DWI, the District Attorney has a policy of not giving PTD on anything over 0.16, and frowns upon giving it above 0.08 unless there’s some really good reason to. It’s a policy, so it CAN be overcome if you have someone deserving (or properly connected), but they had better have some pull.

    I can determine his lack of character just by looking at his mouth. I can’t believe this race is even close.

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