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Trio of developments connected to officer's death

Corpus Christi Police Officer Alan McCollum.png
Posted at 9:56 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-07 02:56:19-05

A second person now faces charges in connection to the death of a Corpus Christi Police Department officer who was hit and killed by an alleged drunk driver.

Twenty-four year old Lauren Perez was booked into the Nueces County Jail on Friday night on charges of serving an intoxicated person, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

She's accused of continuing to serve drinks to Brandon Portillo on Jan. 31 even though he allegedly already was drunk. Portillo is accused of drunkenly crashing into and killing Ofc. Alan McCollum, who was conducting a traffic stop on South Padre Island Drive, later that night.

KRIS 6 News also learned Friday that the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is investigating the bar where Perez works -- Wonders Bar and Grill -- on Alameda Street near Airline Road.

"Under Texas law, alcohol retailers are required to prevent the service of alcohol to intoxicated people primarily because of public-safety risks such as DWI accidents or alcohol-involved assaults," TABC Public Information Officer Chris Porter said in a phone interview from the commission's headquarters in Austin.

If TABC's investigation determines the bar was in the wrong, the commission could fine Wonders up to $7,200 and suspend its liquor license for several days. If the commission sees repeated bad behavior, Wonders Bar and Grill could lose its license altogether.

Porter was aware of a prior violation.

"Wonders Bar was cited in 2018," he said. "It was for selling alcohol to a minor. In that case they were not required to pay a fine, because the liability was placed on the employee in that case."

In a third development, KRIS 6 News received a copy of the wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of McCollum's widow. It names Portillo and Wonders Bar and Grill as defendants, but also two other men.

One of them is the man whom officers were conducting a traffic stop on when the deadly wreck happened.

The suit claims the man was drunk, high on drugs, and speeding -- and had he not been -- McCollum would not have been in the position to be killed.

The other man is the owner of the car which officers pulled over. The suit said the man should have known not to let the first man borrow it.