As The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra reported last August, then-Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), who was in the midst of a very expensive and tightly contested U.S. Senate race with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at the time, was publicly revealed to have fled the scene of a dramatic DWI-induced car wreck scene that he had caused 20 years prior:
Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke’s 1998 arrest for drunk driving has been public knowledge for years, but a newly-revealed police report has brought to light even more allegations of disturbing details from the arrest.
The Houston Chronicle reported on Friday that newly-obtained police reports alleged “two elements of the incident that have been overlooked: that there was a crash involved, and that O’Rourke allegedly attempted to flee.”
A reporter who witnessed the crash said that he observed O’Rourke traveling at a “high rate of speed” in a 75-mph zone as O’Rourke then “lost control of the vehicle and struck a truck.”
O’Rourke then reportedly attempted to flee the scene of the crash after hitting someone, but the reporter was there to stop him from getting away.
But while O’Rourke admitted to the DWI, he persistently denied that he tried to flee the scene of the crash. Last September, PolitiFact rated O’Rourke’s denial “Mostly False”:
We asked O’Rourke’s campaign about the witness [saying that] O’Rourke tried to leave the accident scene. By email, [then-O’Rourke communications director] Chris Evans said O’Rourke stands by what he said at the debate about not trying to leave. Evans noted that the “police report shows he was arrested for a DWI, not for leaving or attempting to leave the scene.”
O’Rourke said he didn’t try to leave the scene of his 1998 DWI accident and arrest.
Records indicate O’Rourke was arrested at the scene and wasn’t charged with trying to flee. But the September 1998 Anthony Police Department report on the incident says a witness said O’Rourke tried to leave the scene before police arrived and the witness kept him from doing so.
We rate this claim Mostly False.
Now, The Texas Tribune reports that the very police officer who was at the scene of the 1998 DWI confirms that O’Rourke tried to flee the scene:
The former police officer who arrested Beto O’Rourke for driving drunk in 1998, along with the sergeant who signed the incident report, both say they believe now what they reported at the time: that O’Rourke tried to leave the scene of the wreck he caused.
O’Rourke admits he was intoxicated and says there is no justification for his actions, but he has denied that he tried to flee. …
Neither the investigating officer, Richard Carrera, nor his former supervisor, Gary Hargrove, specifically recalls the events of that night more than 20 years ago. But both of the former Anthony Police Department officers told The Texas Tribune they have no doubt the report they compiled and signed is accurate.
“I believe we have contradicting stories here,” said Carrera, who arrested the 26-year-old O’Rourke and took him to a police station to undergo a breath test. “I stand by my report.”
O’Rourke, who lost his Senate race last year to Cruz, announced his run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination last month. Prediction market website PredictIt currently has O’Rourke pegged as the seventh most likely Democratic nominee.