The son of Petersburg's police chief made a first appearance in a Henrico courtroom Monday, facing a DWI charge and allegations of driving that could have endangered lives.
John I. Dixon IV, 31, was arrested near the Short Pump Town Center early Saturday. According to the criminal complaint filed by Henrico Police, Dixon wove in and out of a lane on West Broad Street five times, and nearly collided with another car.
The Petersburg police officer failed all standard field sobriety tests and refused a breath test. A Henrico officer obtained a warrant for Dixon's blood, but test results have not yet returned an exact blood alcohol content reading.
The complaint states Dixon drove with plates that expired January 2012. Dixon was off-duty at the time and was driving someone else's car when he was pulled over on the corner of West Broad Street and John Rolfe Parkway, according to police.
There was an adult passenger in the car as well that was neither arrested nor charged.
Petersburg Police Chief John I. Dixon III had no comment regarding the arrest. In a written statement, City Manager William E. Johnson said, "I am aware of the situation regarding police officer Dixon. This is a personnel matter."
The arrest of Chief Dixon's son led several Petersburg residents to ask how the Chief's son could be employed in the same city department without a conflict of interest.
According to Petersburg's Personnel Policy Manual, "employment of members of the family in the same department or division where the relationship could create conflicts, difficulties or supervisor–subordinate relationship is prohibited."
City Attorney Brian K. Telfair said it is city policy to not discuss personnel matters publicly.
Officer Dixon told the court he would hire his own lawyer going forward. He is free on bond and will make his next appearance Feb. 11.
Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Steve Mutnick said he does not anticipate Dixon to enter a plea at this appearance next month.
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