Ex-Haymarket police chief James Roop arrested for drunk driving

Haymarket Police Chief James E. Roop, suspended for 60 days without pay for "loss of confidence and inappropriate actions." Must undergo counseling for sexual harassment, for which he was suspended in 2005. (Town of Haymarket)
Former Haymarket Police Chief James E. Roop, who resigned in July, was arrested Thursday in Winchester on a charge of driving while intoxicated. (Town of Haymarket)

James E. Roop, who resigned as police chief of Haymarket last month after a tumultuous series of suspensions, was arrested and charged with drunk driving Thursday night after he allegedly drove the wrong way down a one-way street in Winchester, police said.

Roop, 58, was picked up about 7 p.m. Thursday, Winchester police spokeswoman Lauren Cummings said. She said state police had already issued a lookout for an intoxicated driver headed toward the city when two officers working another call spotted him. “The officers saw the car heading the wrong way down Highland Avenue,” Cummings said. “They suspected the driver was impaired.”

They pulled the driver over, and charged him with driving while under the influence. Roop spent Thursday night in the Winchester jail and was released Friday, Cummings said. She declined to release the blood-alcohol test results involved. She said Roop did not resist arrest.

Roop listed an address in Moorefield, W.Va., as his home. He could not be located for comment.

Roop previously worked as an officer in Frederick County and Manassas City before joining Haymarket, which only has five officers, in 1997. He became chief in 2000. In 2005, he was suspended for 15 days, apparently for creating a hostile work environment and sexual harassment. Earlier this year, Roop and his deputy chief, Gregory Breeden, were suspended by the town council in January, briefly un-suspended when Mayor David Leake vetoed the move, and then re-suspended for 60 days and ordered to undergo sexual harassment training.

On July 10, Roop submitted his resignation to the Haymarket council. Gregory Smith, a retired Prince William County police captain, was named interim chief. Roop is scheduled for trial on his DUI on Oct. 17.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.
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