An off-duty Chicago police officer who allegedly drove a CPD squad car to a Northwest Side bar faces felony charges after on-duty cops found narcotics inside the patrol vehicle, prosecutors said Saturday.
The trouble began around 4 a.m. Friday when someone saw a man dressed in jeans, a t-shirt, and a baseball hat park a Chicago police car in the 7100 block of West Higgins and walk into Teaser’s Public House.
Responding cops spotted off-duty officer Antrinius Andrews, 38, walking toward the patrol car, and they stopped him to see what was going on, prosecutor Rob Schwartz said during Andrews’ bail hearing Saturday afternoon.
The officers noticed a “strong odor of alcohol” emanating from Andrews, who slurred his words and told them he had consumed “a few drinks,” Schwartz continued. He said the officers took Andrews to the local police station for an off-duty intoxication investigation.
Inside the squad car that Andrews drove to the bar, officers found a clear baggie with white residue and two other baggies containing suspected crack and powder cocaine, Schwartz said. Investigators also found an open bottle of White Claw, brandy, and a hypodermic needle in the patrol unit, he said. The narcotics had a street value of $110.
Andrews, who has been relieved of police powers due to the allegations, is charged with two counts of possessing controlled substances and possessing drug paraphernalia.
His private defense lawyer, Stefan Fenner, told Judge Kelly McCarthy that he is married with two kids.
McCarthy released Andrews on his own recognizance. She also permitted him to travel to Florida for an inpatient drug treatment program recommended by CPD’s employee assistance unit.
Officials did not explain how Andrews could drive away with a squad car or how long he possessed the vehicle.
In October 2020, Andrews failed an alcohol breath test while on duty, according to a report by CPD’s Bureau of Internal Affairs. The report said his alcohol level was “above the threshold established by [the] accused officer’s collective bargaining agreement,” but it did not say exactly what the level was. Internal Affairs recommended a 15-day suspension for the alleged violation.