PIQUA — A Piqua police officer facing charges after wrecking a patrol cruiser has resigned from the Piqua Police Department effective immediately.
Former police officer Justin W. Augustine, 38, of Troy, resigned from the Piqua Police Department on Thursday after being charged with improper handling of firearms, according to a press release sent out on Friday afternoon.
Augustine was charged with fifth-degree felony improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle on Thursday in connection with a wreck involving a patrol cruiser he was driving on Oct. 27.
The charge was filed on Thursday in Miami County Municipal Court. Augustine is scheduled to be arraigned on that charge on Nov. 7, in Miami County Municipal Court.
Augustine is already facing an OVI charge and a citation of operating a vehicle without being in reasonable control of a vehicle after he wrecked his patrol cruiser on Oct. 27. Augustine is currently on paid administrative leave while an internal investigation is underway. The criminal case is also still pending.
On Oct. 27, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Augustine self-reported a crash on private property to his supervisor. The crash took place in the rear parking lot of the former Piqua Board of Education office at 719 E. Ash St. Augustine reportedly struck a flatbed semi-trailer loaded with concrete barriers used to separate lanes in road construction areas. The trailer had damage to a light fixture on the front right corner, and Augustine’s patrol cruiser had significant damage to the passenger side of the vehicle.
An officer observed that Augustine’s eyes “were bloodshot and red and that his speech was slow and slurred,” according to Piqua police reports. A Four Loko Gold 14 percent alcohol per volume malt beverage can was later located in the driver’s door of Augustine’s personal vehicle. An empty can of the same beverage was also found near the crash scene.
Augustine refused all drug and alcohol tests after the incident.