Scottsdale police officer indicted on aggravated assault and endangerment after DUI crash

Former Scottsdale police officer Michael Lanouar was arrested on suspicion of DUI while driving off-duty in a city vehicle last year.
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 9:04 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A Scottsdale police officer is facing possible prison time after being indicted on recent charges for a crash last November, including aggravated assault and endangerment.

At the time, Officer Michael Lanouar was arrested on suspicion of DUI while driving off-duty in a city vehicle. He is not being charged with impairment, but an attorney said there’s a reason why.

From police patrol to being the one prosecuted. “If he’s convicted as charged, he’s looking at a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 15 years in prison,” said criminal defense attorney Russ Richelsoph, an attorney unaffiliated with the case.

It’s a turn of the tables for Scottsdale police officer Michael Lanoaur, now facing two felonies of aggravated assault and endangerment. In November last year, Lanoaur was driving a city vehicle while off duty when he crashed with another car near Pima Road and Indian School Rd. Both people in the other car were hospitalized, and the officer was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Scottsdale Police confirmed that his toxicology report came back with a BAC of .198%, more than double the legal limit. So why isn’t he being charged with impairment too? “When a person is suspected of being DUI and they’re involved in an automobile accident that causes serious physical injury to another person, usually they’re charged with aggravated assault. Oftentimes they’re not charged with DUI,” said Richelsoph.

Richelsoph said specific wording in this indictment is important in what the officer’s fate could be. “The prosecutor’s office will allege that the vehicle is a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and that makes it mandatory prison,” said Richelsoph.

Richelsoph said in his experience with MCAO even if Lanoaur takes a plea deal, it will likely still involve prison time and not just probation. So where does his status stand with the Scottsdale Police Department? Demoted but not fired.

According to Scottsdale Police, Lanoaur resigned as a police officer in January but took an involuntary demotion to work as a Scottsdale detention officer in the city’s jail.

Depending on the trial’s outcome, that’s when Scottsdale Police said they’ll evaluate Lanoaur’s employment. Scottsdale Police allows officers to work after certain types of misdemeanor arrests and convictions, but if convicted of a felony like Lanoaur is facing, the department said he wouldn’t be able to carry a gun, which is needed to be an armed police officer or armed detention officer.

Arizona’s Family reached out to the family involved in the crash but did not hear back from them Monday. Lanoaur is due back in court on March 29.