Secret Service agent found passed out drunk in Miami after presidential visit

AFP Photo / Jim Watson
A member of US President Barack Obama’s security detail has been handed over to the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility after cops in Miami caught the secret service officer passed out on the sidewalk in a drunken stupor early Friday.

Officer Aaron Francis Engler of the US Secret Service was arrested in Miami, Florida at around 7 a.m. Friday morning after local authorities spotted him lying on the ground near an intersection with bloodshot eyes and smelling strongly of alcohol.

According to the police report, Mr. Engler seemed passed out drunk but became aggressive when officers came to check on him.

"[Engler] started arguing with me and throwing his arms around while I was conducting a pat down," the arresting officer writes in the official report. “At this point motorists traveling in the area were stopping to watch his actions.”

The Miami Police were unaware of Engler’s affiliation with the Executive Branch until the altercation materialized to the point where the drunken man attempted to strike one of the officers in the face. Engler was handcuffed on the scene and searched for identification, eventually revealing to the cops that their subject was a member of the security detail dispatched to follow United States presidents and visiting heads of state.

A source speaking to a local CBS affiliate says that Engler had been dispatched to southern Florida to scour the city before President Obama flew in Thursday afternoon. The commander-in-chief was scheduled to attend a rally at the University of Miami and a fundraiser at the JW Marriott Marquis. The source say Engler “got very drunk” after the president left that afternoon, even though he was assigned to work in a different city Friday morning.

The police charged Engler with disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence, both misdemeanors, and released him to members of the Secret Service’s Miami field office who in turn recommended he meet before the Office of Professional Responsibility.

The latest incident comes mere months after a dozen Secret Service agents were linked to an unrelated scandal involving prostitutes in Columbia, where they had been dispatched to conduct a routine investigation before President Obama’s visit to that Latin American nation this summer.After that mishap, Reuters obtained a copy of new rules for Secret Service agents reading in part, “alcohol may only be consumed in moderate amounts while off-duty on a TDY (temporary duty) assignment and alcohol use is prohibited within 10 hours of reporting or duty.”