CLOVIS, N.M. (KRQE) – New video shows much more than just the arrest of a P.E. coach for his third DWI.
“I seen him in the middle of the road and I was like, ‘Isaac do you know who that is?’ and he was like, ‘What?’ And I was like, ‘That’s coach.’ And he was like, ‘Coach who?’ And I was like, ‘From La Casita,’” a teen explained, recalling the moment he saw Stephen Whittenberg behind the wheel last Thursday night.
Shocked by what he had just seen, the teen says that he went up to the truck to ask his former P.E. coach if he was OK.
“I was like, ‘You don’t look OK. Should I call somebody?’ And he was like, ‘No I’m good,’” said the teen.
Concerned that Whittenberg would get into an accident, the teen says he asked him to backup out of the intersection — that’s when police intervened.
“Hit the break, hit the break, hit the break! Sir! Hey!” yelled the police officer.
The 51-year-old ended up dragging the officer while knocking over mailboxes and finally slamming into the officer’s cruiser.
“I told him to put it in park and he goes, ‘OK,’ and just mashed on the gas. He runs through two mailboxes and I was like, ‘Oh! My unit,” the officer explained.
The officer then reached into the pickup, put it in park and turned off the ignition. Officers then pulled Whittenberg out of the car, put him in cuffs and sat him on the tailgate.
An officer then asked Whittenberg, “Have you been drinking for the last few days? Is that why you didn’t go to work?” Whittenburg replied, “Yes.”
He was transported to the Curry County Detention Center where he faces a variety of charges including his third DWI offense, possession of marijuana and aggravated assault on a police officer. He is still behind bars.
KRQE News 13 reached out to the Clovis school system to find out if Whittenberg is still employed, and if they’ve given him a background check.
They said he completed the required background check when he was hired back in 2001. They would not say if he is on leave or still employed.
Whittenberg was previously arrested for DWI back in 2008 and 2009.