Newly released footage of a May 28 traffic stop involving Hazelwood Police Chief Gregg Hall shows the O’Fallon officer who pulled him over described him as ‘hammered drunk’ to a supervisor before finally releasing him without charge.
Additionally, then-O’Fallon Police Chief John Neske also appeared at the scene and is seen on video hugging Hall before telling his subordinate that he will bring his colleague home.
The images, which were obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch through an open records request, also shows Hall struggling to maintain his balance, slurring while reciting the alphabet, and taking a breathalyzer test administered by O’Fallon’s officer Nathan Dye, who later noted that his blood alcohol level was over two and a half. times the legal limit.
“He’s intoxicated right now,” Dye told his supervisor at the scene.
The stop was made around 3:30 a.m. on May 28 near the intersection of Highway K and Highway N in O’Fallon.
“The reason I arrested you. .. You weaved quite a bit,” Dye told Hall after approaching his car.
It didn’t take long for Hall to identify as a fellow officer.
“I’m actually the chief of police,” Hall said, according to the video.
Dye then conducted a series of field sobriety tests, during which Hall appeared to struggle. When asked to say the alphabet from “D” to the letter “H”, Hall navigated to “U” before asking the officer where he was supposed to stop. In the following footage, Hall is asked to walk in a line and appears to be struggling to maintain his balance in the process. When Dye administered a breathalyzer, he recorded more than double the legal limit.
Dye’s supervisor, who is shown in the video but not named, asked upon learning of the breathalyzer results if the stoppage had been filmed. Dye told him yes.
“Yeah, it’s a tough day and age, man, you know, when you have, uh, they insist on all these electronic things and technologies,” the supervisor replied.
This supervisor then called Neske, who arrived on the scene shortly thereafter. Dye’s body camera was turned off before Neske arrived, but separate video released by the department shows O’Fallon’s former police chief giving Hall a big hug before telling Dye that he will take him home.
“Nathan, if I bring him home, are you going to have any problems?” Neske asked.
“Not at all, Chief,” Dye replied. “I’m sorry to bring you out here.”
“It’s okay. You do what you gotta do,” Neske replied. “If you don’t mind, I’ll take him home. I’ve known him for many years.”
Hall’s attorney, Travis Noble, tells KMOV that the sobriety tests performed on Hall don’t count. He says Missouri law requires a 15-minute observation period before a breathalyzer can be administered, and in this case, only 10 minutes passed. He further claims that the other tests should not have been done due to Hall’s age and weight.
“It would be impossible for them to move the case forward in this situation,” Noble told the station.
Officials in both cities, meanwhile, have remained largely tight-lipped since the footage was released. Hall, Neske, O’Fallon Mayor Bill Hennessy, and Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson all either failed to respond to requests for comment or declined to comment on the matter.
“Our official comment is that this is a staff matter and will remain confidential,” Hazelwood assistant manager David Leezer said. Post-shipment Thursday morning.
Neske retired from the force a few days after the stoppage. According to KMOV, this retreat had been planned well in advance. Current O’Fallon Police Chief Frank Minninni reportedly told the station he would investigate the incident.