10:07 PM EDT, June 18, 2012
An IMPD lieutenant was arrested Monday after police said he hit a construction worker and drove off.
Michael Rinehart is preliminarily charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and failure to stop after an accident resulting in injury.
Rinehart reportedly hit a construction work with his pickup truck at West 16th Street and North Worth Avenue around 2:30 p.m.
The construction worker was using the controls of a piece of equipment when the mirror from the truck hit him. A witness said Rinehart re-adjusted his mirror as he drove off.
The construction worker and his boss followed Rinehart and confronted him. Both the victim and his boss said they smelled alcohol on Rinehart's breath. The group then returned to the scene of the accident.
The boss told Rinehart a report needed to be made. Rinehart reportedly identified himself as a police officer. As the boss was making a phone call to police, Rinehart reportedly got back in his truck and again drove off.
The boss again followed Rinehart. Rinehart eventually pulled over and the boss confronted him.
As they were waiting on police to arrive, Rinehart returned to his truck, reached into the glove box and pulled out a bottle of mouthwash. Rinehart drank some of the mouthwash and then lit a cigarette afterward, according to the police report.
When questioned, Rinehart said the victim had said he was okay so he thought he was free to leave.
The victim suffered a large mark on his back and declined medical care.
Rinehart has been with the department for 35 years. He was suspended pending a hearing before the merit board at the time of the incident.