Shelby sheriff suspends deputy after crash - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Shelby sheriff suspends deputy after crash

Deputy Alvin Dortch (courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Department) Deputy Alvin Dortch (courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Department)

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office has suspended one of its deputies, saying the officer's report on a traffic fatality doesn't match video from his cruiser.

Deputy Alvin Dortch originally said in his report on the Sunday morning accident that he had just finished a sobriety test on a driver when a Ford F-150 pickup sped past him on Interstate 240 near Warford.

According to the report, the officer contacted dispatchers to report the truck speeding and weaving. He followed the truck but lost sight of it at one point.

Approaching an exit ramp, he saw tire marks on the grass and found the truck upside down on the ramp.

Dortch said he found Ignacio Arcos, 23, of Memphis dead. Several open beer bottles were inside the truck and near the scene.

But Sheriff Mark Luttrell said Sunday night that video taken from the officer's cruiser did not match his story. Luttrell did not say what the inconsistencies were. 

Monday, Sheriff's Department spokesperson Steve Shular repeated that the deputy's story did not match what was on the tape.

"When we reviewed video from the dash cam we determined the version from the officer was dramatically different," Shular said.

Dortch, a 26-year-veteran of the sheriff's office, has been relieved of duty with pay while the department investigates the accident.

Luttrell said he hopes to have results of the investigation in a couple of days.

"We don't take this lightly," he said. "Any time we get an inconsistency in an official version versus what the video shows, we feel like we've got to get in and resolve it quickly."

Shular said there will be an autopsy to determine how Arcos died and if he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time.  When the Department's investigation is complete, Shular said, they will release the dash cam video.

"We have an issue that the public's trust is in question here," he said.

Off camera, members of the Arcos family said he was a framer who worked hard and was always happy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click here to send an email to Lori Brown.

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