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article imageFormer U.S. ambassador faces charges of DUI, hit-and-run

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By Arthur Weinreb     Aug 24, 2012 in Crime
Spokane - Ryan Crocker, a long serving diplomat who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was arrested on Aug. 14 and pleaded not guilty the next day.
Crocker, 63, is one of the United States' most prominent diplomats, who served as his country's ambassador in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Crocker was in Spokane Valley, Washington on Aug. 14 when he was making a right hand turn around 2 p.m. Washington State Trooper Troy Briggs was quoted by KXLY as saying, "He did that from the left hand lane right in front of the semi and they struck basically in the intersection, his vehicle was spun around." According to police, Crocker kept driving even though his car, a 2009 Mustang, had spun out and received significant damage to the passenger side, including a flat tire.
A witness followed the retired diplomat and then called police when Crocker stopped at a bank a few miles away. The former ambassador was arrested and released later that day.
The driver of the semi truck was not injured in the collision.
Briggs is quoted in USA Today as saying, "He was cooperative but obviously intoxicated." Two breath tests were administered to Crocker and the first one showed blood alcohol level of .16, twice the legal limit in Washington state.
WPTV reports conditions of his release are that he is not to commit any crime, not to consume alcohol, and not to take any drugs except those prescribed by a doctor. He was ordered to report to a drug testing office within 24 hours of his release and to submit to alcohol testing twice a month.
According to his Department of State biography, Crocker joined the Foreign Service in 1971 and served in various countries as well as in Washington. He was attached to the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon when that country was attacked by Israel in 1982 and when the Marine barracks was bombed the following year.
Among the many awards Crocker received over the years was the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Given to him by President Obama in 2009, it is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a civilian.
Crocker came out of retirement on July 25, 2011 when he was named U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. In May, CNN reported he left his post early because he was suffering from serious health issues.
Crocker is due back in court on Sept. 12.
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