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Searcy Arkansas Wednesday, October 6, 2004
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Deputy arrested driving drunk in sheriff's pickup: Hale faces DWI charge in Dallas

Three days after one of his colleagues was involved in a drunken incident in Brinkley, Ark., another deputy with the White County Sheriff's Department was arrested for drunk driving in Dallas, Texas. He was driving a truck normally driven by Sheriff Pat Garrett.

Detective Jim Hale was arrested by an officer with the Baylor Hospital Police Department on Sept. 24, confirmed Sgt. Don Peritz, public information officer at the Dallas County (Texas) Sheriff's Department.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by Baylor officer C. Owens with the Dallas County District Court, Hale was stopped at 10:15 p.m. on Gaston Avenue in Dallas because he swerved across his lane into the road curb.

Owens gave Hale a breath test, and Hale tested positive for a blood alcohol content of between 0.165 and 0.171 percent, over twice the legal limit of .080 percent.

Hale was booked into the Dallas County jail at 1:07 a.m. on Sept. 25, and released later that morning on $500 bail.

Hale was driving a 1997 Ford F-350 belonging to Gerald Garrett, Sheriff Pat Garrett's father. The truck was impounded.

Pat Garrett confirmed this week that he and Hale had traveled to Dallas to participate in a gun show. Garrett sometimes works for his father, who owns a gun and ammunition business.

"We were not there in the capacity of sheriff and deputy detective, but as civilians," said Garrett. "Jimbo was on vacation."

Garrett maintains that he had no idea Hale was drinking. The two had separate hotel rooms, and Hale came to his room about 9:30 p.m. to ask to borrow his truck to "get something to eat." Later that night, said Garrett, he received a call from the Baylor Hospital Police Department notifying him that Hale had been arrested.

"The woman I talked to said that a rookie cop had 'gotten to him [Hale] first' and that if they had known beforehand they may have been able to help, but that he [Hale] was already in jail," said Garrett.

Garrett paid Hale's bond and retrieved the truck from a towing company impound yard. Hale spent the night in jail and caught up with Garrett the next day at the gun show.

As of Wednesday, Garrett had not taken action against Hale.

"What he did was while he was off duty, but as soon as I got back here I got together with my chief deputy and told him to do an internal investigation of the matter," said Garrett. "An internal investigation will gather all the facts from the Texas authorities and determine whether or not any action should be taken by the department against Jimbo Hale. At this point he is innocent."

Garrett questioned the news value of one his deputies getting arrested.

"Can I ask you, why is this a story? Is it just because I am running for re-election?"

Garrett's second-in-command, Chief Wayne Black, seconded Garrett's opinion.

"There is a sheriff's department policy that says you can be suspended or fired if you bring dishonor or discredit onto the department, but I don't think something that is done in another state really brings discredit or dishonor onto the department," said Black.

Hale could not be located for comment.

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