Cleveland, OH - MetroHealth Medical Center initially refused to draw blood after a search warrant was issued against a suspect in the killing of Cleveland Police Officer David Fahey.
According to Fox 8 Cleveland, the end result may be the fact it may be difficult or impossible to tell if the suspect, Israel Alvarez, was high and/or drunk when he struck Officer Fahey.
The initial incident occurred on January 24, 2017, at about 6:00 AM on I-90. Cleveland Police Officer David Fahey, age 39, was setting out flares at the scene of a crash when he was struck and killed by Alvarez' vehicle. Alvarez fled the scene but was located and taken into custody later the same day.
After Alvarez was arrested, they requested a judge sign a search warrant allowing a blood sample to be taken for drug and alcohol testing. Upon arrival at MetroHealth Medical Center, a hospital attorney reviewed the search warrant and decided he had an issue with the wording. A news source obtained a copy of the warrant and found upon review that it contained the same wording that Cuyahoga County prosecutors have used for decades.
Hospital administration didn't want to take Alvarez' blood sample because they said that the paperwork didn't direct that specific hospital to do it. Warrants are not required to specify who is required to execute service of the warrant.
Some investigators were so angry over the hospital's decision that they wanted to arrest the hospital lawyer for Obstruction of Justice.
Tina Arundel, hospital spokesperson said that "the way the warrant was worded, we thought it would be a problem. It needs to be specific. We needed to be sure the sample would be permissible in court.” That's a load of BS. It's the court's job to determine if something is admissible, not the hospital's job. And the judge had to review the warrant wording to approve the warrant.
In a statement, Michael O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, said “MetroHealth`s decision to defy a court order and thwart an investigation into the murder of a police officer is outrageous. It is not Metro's position to decide if a search warrant would 'hold up in court.' Defying a court order needlessly delayed the blood draw of a suspected impaired driver by two and one-half hours.”
A retired Cleveland Police Officer, known for having made over 4,000 arrests of drunk drivers, said that he wasn't sure what the hospital was thinking. He also said that alcohol and drugs in the system dissipate over time, and that "the longer the delay the less evidence" there will be to present.
It is unknown how long it will take for the alcohol and drug tests to be analyzed. But it will be a shame if a case is lost based on a MetroHealth hospital attorney's stupidity.
Do you think that the hospital attorney should be criminally charged for obstruction of justice? We'd like to hear from you on this. Please let us know on our Facebook page or the comments below.