A Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputy was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving over the weekend after waving a gun around in a Jack In the Box drive-through, authorities said.
Police arrested 33-year-old Benjamin Lee at 2:40am Sunday at the fast food joint on El Camino Real by Lafayette Street in Santa Clara. Lee was booked on charges of driving under the influence and brandishing a weapon, according to Santa Clara Police Department spokesman Lt. Kurt Clarke.
Lee, who was off duty at the time of his arrest, was placed on paid leave while the Sheriff’s Office and Santa Clara police investigate the incident.
The arrest is the latest scandal involving the Sheriff’s Office, which has come under scrutiny after an inmate’s beating death, the subsequent arrest of three correctional guards on suspicion of murder and racist texts exchanged among jail staff.
Roger Winslow, second-in-command of the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, Lee’s union, cautioned against a rush to judgment but said he was “saddened” by the arrest.
“Our deputies make arrests for these crimes regularly,” he said in a statement. “They see firsthand the consequences caused by impaired drivers. A DUI by anyone is unacceptable; doubly so when it involves a deputy sheriff. We are held to a higher standard and rightly so.”