A State Police sergeant assigned to provide security for Gov. Bobby Jindal’s family was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of drunk driving after rear-ending a vehicle on Interstate 10 in Ascension Parish and fleeing the accident, a State Police spokesman said.
Sgt. Damien L. Dyson Sr., 34, of Baton Rouge, was heading west on I-10, west of La. 22, shortly before 2:15 a.m. Saturday in his personal vehicle, a 2008 Cadillac CTS, when he rear-ended a 2004 Ford Taurus driven by Kevin Gomez-Castellanos, 21, of Gonzales, Capt. Doug Cain said. Investigators suspect Dyson was speeding when the collision occurred.
The impact of the collision sent Gomez-Castellanos’ vehicle into the median where it struck several trees before overturning and coming to a rest on its roof, Cain said.
Gomez-Castellanos was wearing his seat belt and was uninjured, Cain said.
Dyson, a six-year veteran of State Police, did not immediately stop after the collision, Cain said.
He continued on I-10 before eventually exiting at La. 44 and pulling over onto the shoulder where authorities found him. His car sustained heavy front-end damage from the collision.
Dyson identified himself as a trooper and investigators from State Police Troop A in Baton Rouge were called to investigate, Cain said.
During questioning, troopers suspected that Dyson was intoxicated and administered a field sobriety test, which Dyson performed poorly on, Cain said.
Dyson was taken to the Gonzales Police Department where he registered a 0.175 percent on a blood-alcohol content test — more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent — and was arrested.
Dyson was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail on counts of first-offense driving while intoxicated, hit-and-run, careless driving and possession of an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle, Cain said.
He was immediately placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of an internal affairs investigation, Cain said. Troopers also will handle the criminal investigation.
Troopers went to Dyson’s home Saturday to repossess his unit, uniforms, commission and other State Police related items for the duration of the leave.
During the investigation, Dyson will be required to check in with Internal Affairs daily to see if there is anything he needs to do for the investigation.
Cain said Dyson is not assigned to the governor’s personal security detail, but is part of the protective detail for Jindal’s wife and children and the Governor’s Mansion.
“As law enforcement professionals, we have not only legal responsibilities but also high standards of integrity that must be upheld at all times while serving the citizens of Louisiana,” State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said in a written statement.
He added, “Following a thorough criminal and administrative investigation, the department will review all findings in this matter and take swift steps to ensure an impartial and appropriate course of action.”