AUSTIN, Texas - Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo spent New Year's Eve in a patrol car. Acevedo made three arrests including a person who he says was driving while intoxicated with two kids in the vehicle.
On New Year's Eve, Acevedo was just another patrol officer working a 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. shift. It's been his tradition since joining the department. As usual, chief spotted a suspected drunk driver.
"He was just weaving in the truck and pulled him over and he was under the influence with two kids in the car. That's not a good thing," Acevedo said.
Acevedo says the driver, identified as 33-year-old Jose Sanchez, admitted to having four beers. His breath alcohol test registered .08. The kids in the car, ages 7 and 9, were not his.
"It's bad enough that a person that's under the influence is endangering themselves," said Acevedo. "It's bad enough they're endangering innocent motorists and cyclists, but when they put kids in the car that really bothers me. Those kids have no choice."
Fighting drunk drivers is a passion of Acevedo's, but he managed to make a couple more arrests.
At 2 a.m. New Year's Day a man told officers he was walking out of this convenience store at 6th and Neches when 24-year-old Jaquane Huricks stole a $20 dollar bill out of his hand. Huricks and the man fought. Then, Huricks walked away.
Acevedo found Huricks and took him to jail charging him with theft from person, assault with injury and possession of marijuana.
"I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and spotted the guy walking down the street and we were able to take him into custody," he said.
Acevedo says he plans to continue to fight crime right along with his troops.
"I think all the hugs I got from my folks, it's validation," Acevedo said. "It makes you feel good I get a lot of nice messages and thanks from them. It's my way of telling them that what they do matters and it's important enough for the police chief to be out there on the 31st of December. Saving lives is a job that not beneath any of us. Saving lives is why we're here and I think it starts with the chief and on down to the newest rookie."
Acevedo also arrested someone for public intoxication.