FRIENDSWOOD — A Friendswood police officer charged with driving while intoxicated after his off-duty arrest last year in Pearland pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of public intoxication offered because of an error on the paperwork for a blood search warrant, Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne said.

Officer Fred Cramer, who has been with the department since 2007, told investigators he had been at a sports bar in Harris County shortly before he was arrested by Pearland police in October, Yenne said.

A Pearland officer approached Cramer because his motorcycle was lying in the roadway, Yenne said. After Cramer refused to take a field sobriety test, the Pearland officer obtained a blood search warrant and drew Cramer’s blood, which had a blood alcohol content three times over the legal limit, Yenne said.

However, the Pearland officer accidentally put his own name on the warrant, rather than Cramer’s.

That “fatal, inadvertent flaw” would have made it difficult to convict Cramer of driving while intoxicated, Yenne said. 

A witness who saw Cramer leaving the bar said the Friendswood police officer did not appear intoxicated, and no one actually saw Cramer operating the motorcycle, Yenne said.

Cramer pleaded guilty June 2 to the lesser charge of public intoxication, and will have to pay a $500 fine, according to Brazoria County court records.

“I wasn’t going to do nothing about Mr. Cramer,” Yenne said. “It was clear to me that he was intoxicated, and I wanted to get it on the public record.”

Yenne said Pearland police and the Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office treated the Friendswood officer the same as any other defendant accused of drunken driving.

“I’m not going to treat anybody different, and it’s embarrassing that he’s a public servant who was behaving this way,” Yenne said.

Friendswood Police Chief Robert Wieners said the department conducted an internal investigation after Cramer’s arrest in October. The officer remains with the police force, but was given a letter of reprimand in January and referred to substance abuse counseling, police said.

Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5241 or alex.macon@galvnews.com.

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(6) comments

Chris Gimenez

I wonder if Ms. Yenne has attended our criminal District Attorney's seminar entitled, "D.A. Jack Roady's Class on How to Catch and Release Law Enforcement and Elected Officials". After all, Roady has become quite the politician when it comes to protecting the support of his law enforcement base. He certainly proved his bonafides when he DISMISSED a FELONY CHILD ABUSE charge against TC Police Officer John Thorn. No trial, no loss of his police officer's commission, just a little desk time and a few counseling sessions and presto-charge dismissed.

Of course, Jack Roady's class is most effective when it's accompanied by the GCDN's seminar-"Heber Taylor's Class on How to Keep the Public From Hearing About Jack Roady's Special Treatment of LE and Elected Officials". Taylor's class is short and sweet. Endorse the candidate, ensure nothing is printed in the GCDN that would embarrass the candidate or tarnish the GCDN's endorsement of the candidate. Class dismissed. Justice denied.

ChrisGimenez
Bayou Vista

PD Hyatt

Chris I understand that you have a hatred for Jack Roady for something that may or may not have happened, but did you read that this happened in another county? How in the world did Jack or Herb have anything to do with this?

Chris Gimenez

Paul, using that logic then this Brazoria County story shouldn't even have been in the Galveston County Daily News, correct? But I'll be more than happy to share the reason for my comment. First, law enforcement and elected officials would like the public to believe they are held to higher standards and therefore they deserve our respect. Unfortunately, what we see all too often is that they're held to either lower standards or no standards. I don't happen to believe for one second that had that Friendswood officer been either you me that Ms. Venne would not have taken that case to trial. To me it's another example of the how law enforcement seems to skate consequences for criminal conduct that the rest of us would not be able to.

Now, as for Roady and Taylor. Do you find it odd that this Brazoria County story about a police officer receiving possibly preferential treatment-despite what Ms. Venne claims-made it to the top of the online section of the GCDN and yet when Jack Roady dismissed a felonly child abuse charge against TC Police Officer John Thorn without taking it to trial, there wasn't a peep about it from Taylor and the GCDN? They can't say they don't know about it because I told them myself. So just exactly why is this story from Brazoria County important for us to know about but the dismissal of a felony grand jury indictment against a local law enforcement officer is not worthy of even an honorable mention? I believe it's because they knew there would be a public outcry against Roady and right before they were going to come out with their endorsement of him for re-election.

I also find the relationship between the endorsement of Jack Roady by the GCDN and their obvious lack of curiosity about his disparate treatment of citizens under the law depending on whether they're law enforcement and elected officials or just regular people to be extremely disturbing. Now if you're a newspaper and you expect the public to believe you will report the news regardless of who you are, I would think you have to stop saying there's no fire when you refuse to even look at the smoke.

Just to touch on my case, Heber Taylor seemed to think it was important to attack me in his Opinion piece for exposing Roady's misconduct in my charge and yet he did that without ever trying to get my side of the story or looking at the evidence. Again, it appears to me that Heber Taylor and the GCDN is going out of their way to protect Roady's image and prevent exposure of his disparate abuse of the law.

PD Hyatt

Chris you are stating things that I know nothing about concerning Jack which I might add, I claim as a good friend. But with that said If I knew that Jack was doing the things that you are saying and treating LE's with a different standard then he would you or I. Then I will be at the front of the crowd letting people know about him, after I had said my peace to him and would never support him or vote for him again. But something tells me that there is more to this story then you or I know and again I doubt that Jack had anything to do with what happened in another county with this LE.
As for Herb Taylor that is an entirely different story as I have had my problems with his writing before, but I for one do not understand what makes a headline for the GDN and what gets back page.

Chris Gimenez

That sounds good Paul but I know the reality. If you're a friend of Roady's then you'll say "if" you find out. Well, I'm giving you the facts and it's all public information. You aren't going to ask him about it and he isn't going to give you a straight answer because he can't. There was no additional evidence provided in the court documents refuting the investigation by CPS and the GCSO in the Thorn dismissal, there was only the voluntary counseling sessions.

That issue aside, you continue to insinuate that I'm stating Roady had something to do with the Brazoria case and that's ridiculous. What I am saying is that what happened in Brazoria County isn't unusual and in fact is on steroids in Galveston County under Roady.

Nor is Heber Taylor going to address this because he knows he's been outed. He is a shill for Roady, he can't deny it. The GCDN is more interested in shaping the news than reporting the news. It gives them-just like so many other media like them-a feeling of power. It's disingenuous but it's the reality of media today. They cannot and will not respond with a reason as to why the story about Thorn didn't get put in the paper but they saw the comments when he was arrested and they didn't want that to happen again, especially with your friend Jack dismissing a felony indictment without going to trial.

John McLane

Alex did a good job with the article. He quotes the Brazoria County DA as stating that no one observed Officer Cramer operating the motorcycle. As such, there are more evidentiary issues with this case than a clerical error. The arresting officer failed to establish an essential element of the offense, filled out a search warrant for his own blood and a judge signed it. It appears to me this case had fundamental supervision, training and judicial review problems from the beginning until the end. The GDN has done a much better job with their reporting than Channel 11...but the story line does not fit what was reported. There are probably more problems with the case than the DA wants to acknowledge!

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