Former Waldo, Ark., police chief arrested for DWI

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A former Waldo, Ark., Chief of Police was arrested Sunday by a Bowie County game warden.

Robert Eugene Philson, 51, was allegedly spotted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Officer Shawn Hervey at about 12:45 p.m. driving 75 to 80 miles per hour in the wrong direction on Farm to Market Road 989. Hervey allegedly observed Philson swerve and make wide turns as he turned from 989 onto FM 2516 and then George Thomas Road, according to a probable cause affidavit.

After stopping Philson on George Thomas, Hervey allegedly smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from Philson’s body and car. Philson allegedly admitted only to drinking one 25 ounce beer though Hervey reported finding a spilled cup of ice and liquid next to an open bottle of Paul Masson brandy behind the driver’s seat in the passenger floor board.

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Philson allegedly tried to persuade Hervey and a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who responded to assist that he deserved special treatment because of his status as a law enforcement officer.

“Upon exiting his vehicle, Mr. Philson stumbled and fell back against his car. Mr. Philson then informed me he was the chief of police for Waldo, Ark.,” the affidavit states. “Mr. Philson continued to state he was a police officer and he just always gave officers a ride home.”

According to online news articles from January 2015, Philson was fired by the Waldo mayor that month for reasons she declined to disclose.

“Mr. Philson then changed his story to he was retired from Waldo PD and now was a special investigator with the state of Arkansas at the local ADC unit in Texarkana,” the affidavit states. “Throughout the contact with Mr. Philson he continued to use his position as a police officer or investigator to influence our decision on whether to arrest or release him.”

Philson was allegedly uncooperative when asked to perform field sobriety tests at the scene of the traffic stop and when asked to submit to a breathalyzer while at the Bi-State Justice Center in Texarkana. Philson has been charged with driving while intoxicated and having an open container of alcohol.

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