Hoffman told Brazinski he had been drinking at a Godsmack Musikfest concert earlier that evening, then went to the FOP hall, where he had two beers.
Brazinski said Hoffman agreed to a blood alcohol test at the hospital. The sample was taken at 4:45 a.m. Aug. 8, which led to the driving under the influence and careless driving charges.
After the accident, Hoffman applied for and was admitted into an ARD program.
Just before the accident, Hoffman was drinking with other police officers, inside the Fraternal Order of Police hall at the corner of Broad and Guetter streets in Bethlehem.
Sgt. Urban said he talked to seven or eight police officers who were at the FOP that night “and nobody told me they believed he was intoxicated.”
Hoffman came up behind Bethlehem Police Officer William Audelo, who was celebrating his birthday, and grabbed his boxer shorts, which ripped.
Audelo said he and Hoffman began “rough housing” in a brotherly way, Audelo, a martial arts instructor in the Marine Corps, acknowledged he took Hoffman to the floor. Audelo agreed the situation than got more serious, testifying Hoffman became agitated and came back at him, but other police officers stepped in and separated them. Hoffman was taken outside and soon left.
“Officer Hoffman may have felt embarrassed because he got taken down in front of peers,” said Audelo.
Audelo testified he could not say if Hoffman seemed under the influence of alcohol.
Police Officer John Desiderio, who called Hoffman his best friend, said he walked outside with Hoffman after the pushing match with Audelo. He also said Hoffman was embarrassed, but calmed down before he drove away.
Desiderio said he and Hoffman had been drinking that evening, not only in the FOP, but he could not say how much. He guessed that, when he was with Hoffman, he had three or four beers. He guessed Hoffman had about the same amount, “but I wasn’t keeping track.” Desiderio said he did not feel under the influence of alcohol.
He said when he walked Hoffman to his car and they talked, “he wasn’t slurring his words. He wasn’t swaying in any way. I did not believe that he was to the point where he wasn’t capable of driving safely.” Desiderio said Hoffman assured him he was okay to drive and he had no concerns about him driving.
If Hoffman was intoxicated that night, said Desiderio, “I don’t know how he got to that level.”
Sgt. Urban told Leeson that Hoffman acknowledged he was responsible for causing the accident; that what happened was a very serious matter; that his behavior is a problem when he drinks, and that he needed to seek help through the employee assistance program. Urban testified Hoffman also apologized and said that it was a low point in his life.
Other incidents and reprimands
* On May 14, 2005, Hoffman was detained by Philadelphia police after drinking with friends at a nightclub. When a fight broke out in the club, and police interceded, Hoffman became loud with police. He shoved a Philadelphia police officer identified only as Officer Diaz, who handcuffed Hoffman. When put in a police car, Hoffman yelled and screamed and “threatened to bring 20 guys down to get Diaz.”
When Philadelphia police later released him, he apologized to all of them.
Two days later, when meeting with one of his superiors, Hoffman again apologized for his actions and said he recognized he has a problem when he drinks too much and would be contacting the Employee Assistance Program, because he understood he had to get some help. The superior wrote that Hoffman recognized the seriousness of the matter and how close he came to losing his job.
At that time, Hoffman wrote a statement on his violation record saying: “I have a problem and am seeking help. I apologize to the fullest. And I am absolutely positive this will never occur again.”
* In December 2010, Hoffman failed to adequately search a person he had arrested.
The apprehended man had a pistol hidden in his pants. The pistol was found days later under a bench in the intake area of Northampton County Prison. Hoffman was working with a probationary officer when he failed to find the pistol. He was found in violation for not thoroughly searching the detainee, including by using a metal detector.
Hoffman received a 10-day suspension, because police investigators determined his mistake put several people at risk of death or serious bodily harm.
* On the afternoon of March 16, 2013, Hoffman had another customer by the throat inside Molly’s Irish Grille & Sports Pub in south Bethlehem, testified Scott Hunsicker, a security guard at the bar. He said another bar patron said Hoffman had smacked the guy before he started choking him, but Hunsicker did not see that happen.
Hunsicker confronted Hoffman and tried to pick him up. “He started yelling at me, telling me I didn’t know who I was messing with, he’s a Bethlehem cop. He lunged at me. I restrained him. I didn’t put him in any pain. I took him out. Then I closed the door and went back inside. My job was done.”
When asked if Hoffman was drunk, Hunsicker said: “He was feeling good.”