It was an apparent case of favoritism.
A Texas cop was not arrested Friday even though his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit when he swerved into an oncoming lane, slammed his SUV head-on into a Corvette and rolled over the top of it, killing the man inside.
Brian Manring, 36, the father of a 8-year-old daughter, was pronounced dead at the scene.
But the Houston cop responsible for Manring’s death, James Combs, refused to take a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test after Fort Bend County sheriff’s deputies smelled alcohol on him, which we have learned over the years, is standard procedure for cops who get pulled over while drunk.
Combs was off-duty at the time he plowed into Manring, and told deputies he was on his way to work, but Houston police have not confirmed yet if he was scheduled to work that morning.
Combs, 33, ended up being transported to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries, which was where deputies obtained a warrant to draw blood from him.
He was then released from the hospital and allowed to go on his way because deputies claimed they did not have enough evidence to arrest him at the time, according to KHOU.
“It does take time. Charges have not been filed. We have his blood, so that will be sent off to a crime lab. Once we receive the results, depending what they are along with the other things at the scene, he could be charged at that time,” said Major Chad Norvell, with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.
Officer Combs was not arrested until Tuesday after the results came back from the laboratory, indicating he had a blood alcohol content of .17 – more than twice the legal limit.
Police charged him with intoxication manslaughter, which carries a sentence between two to 20 years in prison, and a judge set his bond at $100,000.
Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls insisted Combs did not receive the standard Blue Courtesy treatment expected from many cops who get pulled over while drunk.
“It’s a sad day any time you have to take a man in blue in custody,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls told ABC 13. “Especially now with the trying times law enforcement, and all the scrutiny we’ve been receiving for the past several years.”
“But it is our job. If you enter Fort Bend County, you’re drinking and driving, you cause a crash that takes the life of another Fort Bend County resident, I don’t care what your occupation is.”
However, a Houston criminal defense attorney named Dan Cogdell said that is a lie.
“I have handled thousands of DWI cases and tried hundreds of DWIs,” he told Click2Houston.
“I’ve never had a situation where the individual wasn’t arrested at the scene, unless there was a catastrophic injury to that person and he needed immediate medical care.
“They treat their own special,” he said. “They treat law enforcement better than you and me.
“Period. End of story.”
Prior to the 6:30 a.m. crash, Combs had been at a strip club called Show Palace, according to his wife and credit card receipts.
His wife told investigators that her husband had a “drinking problem” and that they had been arguing on the phone prior to the crash while he was at the strip club.
Manring’s friends said he was a good father to his 8-year-old daughter and enjoyed being a dad.
“That’s what Brian lived for, to put a smile on Holly’s face and she’s not going to have that anymore,” Taryn Keene, Manring’s neighbor, told ABC13. “It’s horrible. I’m crying for him and I’m crying for Holly.”
Combs has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.
Meaning, he still draws a salary.
It was only last night we reported on an Arizona cop named Rick Van Galder who was arrested for Super Extreme DUI after his blood results came back with a .306 blood alcohol content, a charge that carries a minimum sentence of 45 days in jail.
However, Van Galder ended up spending on three days in jail after pleading guilty.
Then there’s the case of Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy Stephen Miller, who has been stopped for DUI three times since 2014, including one time when police found him snoring behind the wheel of a running car with his foot on the brake in the parking lot of a police station.
The Palm Beach Gardens cop described Miller as “discourteous, disrespectful, clearly intoxicated, uncooperative and belligerent.”
“Cut me a break … We are all brothers,” Miller told the Palm Beach Gardens cop that night on September 12, 2015.
The cop did cut him a break, calling Miller’s girlfriend, who is a West Palm Beach police officer, to pick him up and drive him home.
The same thing happened just a week earlier on September 5, 2015 as well as in January 2014.
It was only after the third time that he came under investigation by internal affairs, which resulted in a ten-day suspension.