Boynton Beach police officer Nicholas Prince has been placed on paid administrative leave after he allegedly drove a marked police vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a police department spokesperson announced on Monday.
The announcement was made after new sources published a video and photos that reportedly show Prince having an argument with the owner of Kocomo’s Island Grill in Loxahatchee on Saturday before driving away in a Boynton Beach police vehicle. Prince was reportedly under the influence of alcohol at the time.
“We have serious concerns about the video evidence we have seen,” Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz told the press. “On its face, the video we received is disturbing and merits extensive review and investigation. What can be seen and heard is absolutely not reflective of the standards of this agency or this profession. We will ensure the due process of all parties is respected, and we will make the investigative file available for public review upon completion of the administrative investigation.”
Katz said Prince committed other potential improprieties that could violate agency policy in addition to driving a police car while under the influence.
“I understand people come out to have some drinks and have a good time but he basically was out of place in approaching me and tried to use the cop card. And then drinking, that’s not a good example,” Jonny Ramlogan, the owner of Kocomo’s Island Grill, told the press.
Prince was reportedly with officer Nicole Loshelder at the time of the alleged incident. Loshelder’s employment status with the police department has not changed.
Another DUI case was reported in Tamarac last week. Stephanie Alexandra Pantuliano of Coral Springs, Florida was arrested on multiple DUI charges, including DUI manslaughter, after she purportedly caused a road accident that led to the death of Bobby Harold Russell of Tamarac.
Pantuliano, 29, faces charges for DUI with injury, DUI with property damage, and DUI manslaughter. She is reportedly being held without bond. It is unclear if she has acquired legal representation.
According to the police report, the alleged crash occurred on the night of April 8 along NW 79th Avenue in Tamarac. Pantuliano was driving a Cadillac when she stopped at a red light at the intersection of West Commercial Boulevard. She reportedly began driving before the light changed and that caused her to crash into Russell, 73, who was driving a Toyota Scion XB. Russell was critically injured and died a few days later.
Pantuliano told police she had drunk “less than one glass of champagne” that night, but her blood alcohol content an hour after the crash was .20, which is more than twice the legal limit in the state. She was tested once again seven hours after the crash and her reading was .11.
According to new sources, Pantuliano has a prior DUI conviction from 2009, and that will likely affect the outcome of the case. DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony punishable by 15 years in prison and 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.