A member of President Barack Obama’s security detail has been referred to the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility following his arrest Friday on disorderly intoxication and resisting charges in Miami.
Miami Police allegedly found U.S. Secret Service Agent Aaron Francis Engler passed out on the sidewalk in a drunken stupor near the intersection of Brickell Avenue and 7th Street. Officers reported that Engler had bloodshot eyes and smelled strongly of alcohol.
According to the police report, Engler seemed passed out drunk but became aggressive when officers attempted to check on him.
"[Engler] started arguing with me and throwing his arms around while I was conducting a pat down," the arresting officer writes in the official report. “At this point motorists traveling in the area were stopping to watch his actions.”
Police were unaware of Engler’s affiliation with the U.S. Secret Service until he attempted to strike one of the officers in the face. Engler was handcuffed at the scene and searched for weapons. Having found his official credentials, Engler admitted to officers that he was a member of an advance security detail dispatched to follow United States presidents and visiting heads of state.
He was unarmed and off-duty at the time of his arrest.
Engler had arrived in South Florida in advance of President Obama's visit Thursday afternoon. The commander-in-chief was scheduled to attend a rally at the University of Miami and a political fundraiser at the JW Marriott Marquis.
One police source - speaking anonymously as they were not authorized to release information - stated that Engler “got very drunk” after the president left, even though he was assigned to work in a different city Friday morning.
Miami police charged Engler with disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence, both misdemeanors. He was released on his own recognizance and not formally booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail.
The latest incident comes mere months after a dozen U.S. Secret Service agents were linked to an unrelated scandal involving prostitutes in Columbia. The agents were part of an advance security detail that had been dispatched before President Obama’s visit to that Latin American nation.
Just last week, U.S. Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan announced the formal adoption of new rules concerning social media and the use of alcohol.
The alcohol policy states - in part - that agents are not allowed to drink alcoholic drinks in the 10 hours before reporting for work. On official trips, it bans drinking alcohol at the location where the president or any other protected person is staying. "Alcohol may only be consumed in moderate amounts while off-duty on a [temporary duty] assignment and alcohol use is prohibited within 10 hours of reporting for duty," the policy reads. "Alcohol may not be consumed at the protectee hotel once the protective visit has begun."