ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — A veteran of the St. Louis Police department is suspended without pay after he reportedly entered a stranger’s home while drunk.

29 year-old Andrew Perez has been charged with first-degree burglary.

Police say while off duty Perez entered a home he thought was his friend’s home in the Clifton Heights neighborhood around 4 a.m. Sunday. Court documents obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch say Perez picked up a purse while inside the home and started emptying the contents out. After being confronted by the homeowner Perez left.

Police found Perez a short time later walking down the street.

The homeowner said his girlfriend and three children were sleeping when Perez entered his home.

The officer’s attorney, Neil Bruntrager, says Perez made a tragic mistake but does not deserve to be charged with burglary because he did not intend to commit a crime. The home’s door was unlocked, and according to Bruntrager he cooperated with police once arrested.

Perez has been a police officer with the department for nearly six years. He is currently assigned to the North Patrol Special Operations Unit.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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