Omaha, NE – A retired Omaha police officer who is a candidate for Douglas County sheriff was caught going 107 mph on his way to the Cinco de Mayo parade on Saturday morning.
The incident occurred at about 9 a.m. on May 7 on Interstate 80 East near 42nd Street when police officers saw a 2020 BMW convertible fly by at more than 100 mph, KETV reported.
The citation given to the driver – Douglas County Sheriff’s Office candidate George Merithew – said the officer estimated the car was going about 110 miles an hour when he stopped it.
The officer said he was able to lock onto the car with radar and clocked Merithew going 107 mph on the busy highway, KETV reported.
“The vehicle flew by me on my right and then slowed down presumably after seeing a marked cruiser,” the officer wrote in his report.
Police said Merithew gave the officer his driver’s license and vehicle paperwork, KETV reported.
The driver was wearing a “Merithew for Sheriff” t-shirt and had a juvenile passenger in the car with him, according to the police report.
When Merithew was asked if everything was current on his information and to provide his phone number, the candidate for sheriff showed the officer his retired Omaha Police Department badge, KETV reported.
Police said the officer was “unaware of the identity of the vehicle driver or vehicle owner prior to stopping the vehicle,” WOWT reported.
The speeding citation carries a $300 fine for the driver.
His campaign posted a video of the candidate at the Cinco de Mayo parade a couple hours later and Merithew was slammed with questions about the traffic stop in the comments.
Merithew initially refused to comment on his traffic stop and instead questioned how a speeding ticket became public knowledge, WOWT reported.
His campaign later released a statement from Merithew on the incident.
“I was speeding,” the candidate said. “Like thousands of other drivers, I was stopped, complied with the officer and was issued a citation. I will now exercise the same rights every other citizen has to deal with a citation.”
“I am trained in high-speed pursuit driving and at no time did I endanger anyone,” the retired police officer added.