Weatherford Democrat

December 4, 2012

FW cop arrested on DWI charge

Christin Coyne
Weatherford Democrat

WEATHERFORD —  

A high-ranking Fort Worth police officer was arrested in Parker County early Saturday and charged with driving while intoxicated.

Forty-five-year-old DWI suspect Daniel Paul Henderson - who owns a home in Hudson Oaks, according to appraisal district records - is the chief of staff for Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead and a major with the department. 

Henderson was pulled over near the Interstate 20 and 30 split shortly before 2 a.m., according to Texas Highway Patrol spokesman Lonny Haschel. 

A Highway Patrol trooper observed Henderson making unsafe lane changes between the center lane and right lane, nearly hitting another vehicle and failing to signal intent, according to the probable cause affidavit. 

Trooper Daniel Walker pulled the black 2004 BMW passenger car over and found that “Henderson had red, glassy, blood-shot eyes and slurred speech.”  

“Henderson stated he was texting while driving,” Walker wrote. “I asked Henderson if he had anything to drink and he stated no.”

The trooper wrote that he smelled alcohol on Henderson’s breath and Henderson admitted he did have a couple of drinks.

Henderson reportedly performed poorly on all tasks as part of the field sobriety test and was arrested for driving while intoxicated, according to Walker. 

After being read a statutory warning requesting a specimen of his breath or blood, Henderson reportedly stated he would provide a breath sample. 

However, Henderson then reportedly stated he was also on medications mixed with the alcohol he drank. 

When the officer asked if he would provide a blood specimen because medications could affect a breath specimen, Henderson refused, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Haschel said Henderson’s blood was not drawn. 

A DPS spokesman told the Democrat last year that troopers do not typically seek a warrant for a blood draw on a first offense DWI charge. 

Henderson’s vehicle was towed from the scene and he was transported to the Parker County Jail, where he posted $1,000 on the class B misdemeanor charge later that morning, according to jail records.

Halstead said Henderson has been placed on “reduced status” following the off-duty arrest. 

Halstead said in a statement that the matter is being investigated both criminally and administratively, limiting how much he could comment.

But he confirmed that Henderson “was assigned as my chief of staff,” and said he’d “make immediate changes in his responsibilities.”

Halstead said Henderson had apologized.

The police chief added: “I fully expect our employees, my supervisors, and, most importantly, our citizens, to hold me accountable as I address this misconduct with fairness and professionalism.”

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Associated Press contributed to this story.