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Detroit police commander faces charges after drunken crash in department vehicle

Cmdr. Johnny Thomas charged with operating while impaired

DETROIT – A Detroit police commander is accused of driving a patrol car, carrying his department firearm and causing a crash while under the influence of alcohol, officials said.

Third Precinct Cmdr. Johnny Alfred Thomas, 48, is accused of drunkenly driving his department car around 12:40 a.m. Saturday in the area of Mack Avenue and St. Antoine Street near Brush Park and Wayne State University.

Police said Thomas hit the truck of a 48-year-old man, causing it to hit a third car that left the scene before officers arrived.

Thomas was arrested at the scene, according to authorities.

The 48-year-old man was taken to a nearby hospital and released several hours later, officials said.

Thomas is charged with operating while impaired with a BAC above 0.17, a 180-day misdemeanor, and possession of a firearm while under the influence, a 93-day misdemeanor.

Thomas was arraigned Wednesday in 36th District Court and is being held in lieu of $5,000 bail. He is scheduled to return to court Feb. 6.


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