IFD: Forestal told chief 'nothing like this will happen again' amid 2007 DUI case

State Rep. Dan Forestal's mug shot. (IMPD)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — State Representative Dan Forestal is now being suspended from his job at the Indianapolis Fire Department after being arrested on allegations of drunk driving and impersonating a police officer.

IFD said Friday the department is suspending Forestal for 240 hours without pay and putting him in an Employee Assistance Program.

In 2007, Forestal pleaded guilty in a drunk driving incident, according to documents shared Friday by IFD. At the time, he said in an apology note to the fire chief "nothing like this will ever happen again."

Forestal's initial hearing is set for August 27. A special prosecutor will handle the case because because Forestal has made campaign contributions to Prosecutor Terry Curry and worked as a campaign volunteer.

The fire chief will decide on Forestal's future with the department pending the outcome of his criminal case.

Court documents released to Eyewitness News on Wednesday show Forestal allegedly asking where he could purchase cocaine prior to his arrest Saturday night.​

According to the court documents, Forestal had been at the Blue Moon Tavern on East Washington Street earlier in the night. A bartender there said Forestal had been "harassing customers" throughout the night and was asking where he could purchase "party favors such as cocaine."

A short time later, a couple called 911 after Forestal, who is also an Indianapolis firefighter, stopped in front of their home and identified himself as "a legit officer."

James McGuire and Sheila Fennell knew right away something wasn't right.

"Just the way he approached us. I've never had an officer ever approach me like that," Fennell said.

He told them the feds were coming and asked them to tell him where the "people selling drugs" lived. The witnesses say Forestal flashed his IFD badge.

"First he wasn't really trying to show a badge like a normal person...it was one of those quick flash and try and take away. He didn't introduce himself by any name," McGuire said.

An uneasy McGuire took a picture of Forestal's car and called police. The couple said they were suprised to find out the stranger was a lawmaker.

"I mean, to have a state representative dealing drugs, drinking and driving, it sends the wrong message," Fennell said.

"Obviously we are electing the wrong people into office. It's one thing to get an OWI and say, 'Oh, my bad. I made a mistake,' but we are talking about looking for drug dealers for whatever his purpose was," McGuire said.

After police stopped Forestal's car, he reportedly did not comply with an officer's commands, resisted as they were trying to get him out of the car and threatened that he would "have" all their badges.​ Forestal refused to talk with officers and asked for an ambulance and an attorney.

A blood draw was done and the results of that have not been released.

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