'I'm screwed': SAPD officer drove wrong way on highway, veered off road prior to DWI arrest

Officer Rodney Tubergen retired weeks after June 2018 arrest

By Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter, Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - An off-duty San Antonio police officer arrested last summer on suspicion of driving while intoxicated drove the wrong way on Interstate 35 and veered off the road into a grass field prior to being taken into custody, according to body-worn camera footage obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders.

The Bexar County District Attorney's Office this week released more than two hours of footage showing the June 2018 arrest of SAPD Officer Rodney Tubergen.

Tubergen, a 28-year veteran of SAPD, retired weeks after he was charged with DWI with a blood alcohol content greater than .15.

A breath analysis report obtained by the Defenders earlier this year shows Tubergen had a blood alcohol content of .179 at the time of his 4 a.m. arrest.

Tubergen, whose vehicle had a cooler and an open bottle of beer in the front seat, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of obstruction of a roadway in late March, according to Bexar County court records.

He was sentenced to 16 months of probation, as well as fines and court costs totaling more than $1,100.

"I'm screwed. I know that," Tubergen was recorded saying on camera while being questioned by officers near Loop 1604 and Lookout Road.

Tubergen refused to take part in a field sobriety test and was then taken into custody, the video shows.

"Appreciate what you did for us man. No doubt. Twenty-eight years is a long time," said the arresting officer.

Watch Officer Rodney Tubergen's DWI arrest. Note: we have removed portions of video that include Tubergen's personal information.

An eyewitness, who identified himself as Roman Munoz, said he called police after seeing Tubergen's vehicle traveling south in the northbound lanes of Interstate 35 with its lights off.

Munoz said Tubergen stopped on the highway, made a U-turn, turned on his lights and then started driving the right direction.

"He was exiting, getting on the highway, almost hit a couple 18-wheelers, almost ran off the road," said Munoz, who estimated that at times Tubergen reached a speed of 105 mph.

Munoz, who followed Tubergen in his tow truck, said he pulled the keys out of Tubergen's vehicle after the officer left the roadway and then backed out of the grass field.

Officers who arrived at the scene said Tubergen was lucky he did not hurt himself or someone else.

A second officer was recorded on his own camera telling Munoz that the arrest would have to "be by the book" because Tubergen was an SAPD officer.

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