Hampton officer resigns following arrest for DWI, allegedly reported for duty intoxicated

New Hampshire Union Leader – by Jason Schreiber

HAMPTON — A local police officer has been charged with drunken driving after he allegedly showed up for duty Tuesday and appeared intoxicated.

Hampton Police Chief Richard Sawyer said James Patton, 58, of Hampton, resigned Wednesday morning after he was placed on administrative leave. Patton had been with the department for 31 years.

Patton is facing a driving while intoxicated charge filed by New Hampshire State Police, who were called to the Hampton Police Department about 7:50 p.m. to investigate.

According to state police, Sawyer requested the agency’s assistance after Patton arrived at the station and appeared intoxicated to his coworkers.

State Police Sgt. Joseph Ronchi, patrol supervisor, and Trooper Chris O’Toole, responded to the station to investigate Patton, who was subsequently arrested and charged.

He was released on a summons and is scheduled to appear Aug. 22 in Hampton District Court.

State police did not provide a booking photo of Patton. Capt. Chris Vetter said one wasn’t taken.

Sawyer declined further comment, saying it was a personnel matter.

Patton could not be reached for comment. A woman who answered the phone identified herself as his wife, but hung up on a New Hampshire Union Leader reporter.

Anyone with information about the incident can email Trooper O’Toole at christopher.otoole@dos.nh.govor call 223-8490.

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