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Irving News

Irving Police on the Defensive after Critical Post goes Viral

The Irving Police issued a press release explaining their side of the story involving an Irving resident arrested for driving while intoxicated. 

According to the release, portions of the social media post are inaccurate.   They are referencing the post included in this story concerning the arrest of Walter Zuniga, 53-years of age.

“Mr. Zuniga was contacted on May 6, 2021, at approximately 11:00 p.m., in the 8000 block of N. Belt Line Rd. His vehicle was in the right lane of traffic and he was getting back inside the driver seat as the officer checked out on what he determined was a traffic hazard. Upon contacting Mr. Zuniga, the officer believed he was under the influence of alcohol, performed Standard Field Sobriety Tests, and determined him to be a danger to himself or others while operating a vehicle on a roadway. Mr. Zuniga was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, agreed to provide a blood draw at Baylor Hospital, and was transported to the Irving City Jail.

On May 7, 2021, at approximately 2:30 p.m., a Detention Supervisor for the Irving City Jail believed that Mr. Zuniga was having a mental health crisis and called for a Mental Health Response Officer. The officer determined his condition to be medical and not mental health. Irving Fire took him to Baylor Hospital for a medical evaluation.

The charge of Driving While Intoxicated was administratively dropped since Mr. Zuniga was no longer in police custody and will be filed at large pending the blood specimen results.

We encourage anyone that has a complaint about the service of our employees to contact our Professional Standards Unit at 972-721-3510.”

The press release does not explain why the DUI charge was dropped.  It says it was because “Mr. Zuniga was no longer in police custody”, but that doesn’t sound logical.  It he is guilty, he is guilty.  This seems to be an attempt to calm matters and it shows that the police department acknowledges that they did not handle this case properly. 

At the same time, the social media poster contradicts himself.  He states in the post, “I want to start this off with I do not hate police”, but after describing his version of events, he writes “I want justice and f*** the police.”    That statement does imply that he does hate the police.  While the poster’s father, Mr. Zuniga, ended up in ICU, the fact remains that he should be responsible for his actions if he was driving intoxicated. 

The poster ends his entry with “I am switching my major to prosecute those that think they can get away with ruining lives.”   By that statement, he is implying that the Irving Police Officers ruined his life, but is that true?   If his father is in the ICU, it would be for a medical condition and not the cause of any harsh treatment by police officers.  He could make the assumption that the police delayed treatment, but when he was stopped by police, Mr. Zuniga was endangering himself and other drivers.   Could it also be said that police saved his life, protecting him from himself?

The sad part is that Mr. Zuniga’s son is distraught and worried about his father’s well-being and we certainly hope he is able to recover from his medical ailment. 

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