Friday, July 19, 2024

‘I Knew It Felt Wrong’: A Woman’s Account of Fired Fort Bragg Police Sergeant Chris Awad Using Her Arrest as a Pick-Up Strategy

Former Fort Bragg Police Officer Christopher Awad conducting the DUI stop on April 14, 2019 that would eventually lead to his termination from the department [Screenshot of a video provided by the City of Fort Bragg]

Former Fort Bragg Police Sergeant Christopher Awad was fired in 2020 after a DUI stop led to flirtatious texting and eventually consensual sexual activity. The Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office would contend Awad’s unprofessional demeanor during the DUI suspect’s criminal trial was the result of his relationship with her, which Awad failed to disclose to his superiors and prosecutors.

When investigators questioned how and why he had befriended the woman, he asserted during multiple interviews that the relationship grew from his kind-hearted, nice-guy gesture of offering the woman a ride if she was ever considering drinking and driving again. He went so far as to assert he offered rides to Fort Bragg residents on multiple occasions, men and women alike.

Another woman has come forward revealing she too was offered rides by Awad after he arrested her for a DUI in July 2014. This woman asserts Awad’s offer was not born out of kindness, but manipulation. After feeling pressured to give the officer her phone number, Awad contacted the young woman on multiple occasions attempting to flirt, asking her on dates, and at one point offering to drive her over five hundred miles to Portland, Oregon despite her clearly saying there she would be visiting her boyfriend.

This woman, who will remain unidentified and we will refer to as Jane Doe, read our reporting on the misconduct that led to Awad’s termination and told us she was moved to tears realizing that the officer from nearly a decade ago had found a way to use his badge and authority to interact with vulnerable women and “serve his own intentions.”

Jane Doe has deep ties to Fort Bragg where she attended elementary, middle, and high school. Multiple members of her family have found themselves on the wrong end of the law and are well-acquainted with the criminal justice system.

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In July 2014, Doe was 21 years old living on the East Coast for work. That month, she flew back to Fort Bragg for a friend’s wedding.

On the day of the wedding, she drank beer and wine and got behind the wheel to drive home. Realizing she was not fit to drive, she pulled to the side of the road to get some rest, leaving the engine running to keep her warm on the cool coastal night.

She awoke to police officers knocking on her window. She recounted to us that Officer Christopher Awad took lead that evening in conducting her field sobriety tests. She was drunk, arrested, and booked to go home the following morning.

The next evening, Jane Doe said she went to a Fort Bragg restaurant for dinner with friends. To her surprise, Officer Awad from the night before entered the restaurant and approached her table.

In front of all of her friends, Awad tells Doe, “I didn’t realize you were [her name], had I known that I wouldn’t have given you the DUI.” 

With her friends looking on and the officer who arrested her talking openly about her DUI, Doe became “stressed out and nervous”. 

While telling the table about Doe’s arrest the night before, Awad offered that she could always contact him if she was ever considering driving drunk again.

Doe was young and embarrassed that the officer was speaking so openly about her arrest. When he asked for her number, she gave it to him, hoping the interaction would be over as soon as possible and Awad would excuse himself.

Sergeant Awad with donuts [From the Fort Bragg Police Department Facebook page]

After the wedding weekend, she flew back to the East Coast and she found it odd that the officer who arrested her was texting her more than expected. In his texts, Awad attempted to further his relationship with the young woman. He asked her when she would be returning to Fort Bragg suggesting the two hang out when she was in town.

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Jane Doe said Awad’s attempts to converse with her were confusing. She heard through the grapevine the officer was in a relationship and his text messages did not seem like those of a man committed to his partner.

In December 2014, Jane Doe returned to Fort Bragg for Christmas to spend the holidays with her family. She bought a bus ticket to visit her boyfriend in Portland during the break. Somehow, Awad found out she was in town. He texted her to hang out. When she declined to hang out citing plans to visit her boyfriend, Awad insisted that she skip the bus ride and let him drive her to Portland instead. 

Jane Doe declined his offer for a ride. When she returned to Fort Bragg from Oregon, he repeatedly invited her on a date, even though Jane Doe had told Awad she had a boyfriend and he was in a relationship at that time.

To Jane Doe, Awad’s amorous intentions were obvious. She decided to block him and never spoke to him again.

Since then, her interactions with Awad was known to few. Besides a few family members, Jane Doe’s bizarre experience was logged away as a weird memory of young adulthood.

When a Fort Bragg family member forwarded our article about Awad’s firing and the circumstances that led to it, Jane Doe was struck that Awad promised to be a sober driver for another woman he popped for DUI.

Eight years after Awad’s “awkward and uncomfortable” attempts to charm Jane Doe, a family member sent her our recent article about Awad’s termination from the Fort Bragg Police. 

Upon reading that Awad had used the promise of rides to another woman he arrested, she said she realized that the officer had “used his power and authority to wiggle his way” into relationships with vulnerable women.

“I had known for a long time that the situation I was put in was not okay and not appropriate,’ she said. “I knew it had felt wrong and gross.”

The fact Awad had used his nice guy routine on multiple women demonstrated to Jane Doe that, “he was very much aware of what he was doing. He had power and authority and he was going to use it to pick up women.”

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Both women, Jane Doe pointed out, were intoxicated and at the whim of a man wearing a badge.” He took our place of vulnerability and used it to serve his own intentions,” she said.

Awad’s attempts to woo Jane Doe were unsuccessful. But, if she had been living in Fort Bragg, she could see how a woman would feel forced to give Awad whatever he wanted. “If I lived in town at that time and he was pressuring me to spend time with him or go on a date,  I would be afraid to say no.”

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    • Since you appear to be clueless about the power differential between a young woman and a police officer, or any other public servant or man thinking with his pecker, there are often BAD results when women decline a man’s advances. Men have murdered, stalked, maligned publicly, beat, effed up the belongings of, got them fired, I could go on, but get a clue. Do you also think it’s OK for males in positions of authority to hit on teenagers? Never mind. I believe your answer would be “yes.”

    • And that’s exactly what this is. She fails to tell the part where she is the one who initiated the contact after the arrest. She friend requested him on social media and “ wanted to get to know him on a personal level”. Her words. Then turns it 10 years later.

  1. The comments blaming women are a clear example of why this woman has chosen remain anonymous. I know what it’s like to be in this position & for those of you that don’t, I guarantee that a girl or woman that you love has been. It’s not “poor women getting hit on” and it’s not fair to say that a woman can make anything up. One could easily respond with a man can make anything up to cover his tracks.

    This is about clear boundaries that were crossed on multiple occasions by a police officer. This should be an example that is learned from. It’s clearly unprofessional to bring up a person’s DUI & it’s unprofessional to ask for her number afterwards. It’s unprofessional to invite a woman that you arrested to your hotel room and then lie by omission about said relationship.

    This is disappointing to read about, but important for people to know. It’s an example that hopefully can be learned from. When a person is in a position of power, they have an obligation to remain appropriate & not use that uniform or role to take advantage of a situation.

    • I get what you’re saying. But why would any women give out their number? Under no circumstance do you give it out and if he said I will do this or that if you give me your number you simply say no thanks take your punishment and let his superiors know what’s happening. And if you give in and give said number then turn the texts over immediately and don’t respond to them. Simple as that. You don’t keep responding and except things to go away. This goes for any situation not just someone in law enforcement.

  2. I didn’t see much harm from the 1st article about this. Now another has popped up & I suspect there’s a few more out there. I see now that it IS unprofessional despite its apparent lack of harm. It could develop into predatory behavior & i suspect it probably was. Which is especially dangerous & scary if that person is a cop! Do your jobs professionally & without bias. Cops fuckin suck!

  3. Cop or not, this is just what women deal with. It’s always creepy and it never stops. A woman smiles or laughs and these creeps think the woman likes them. Don’t be too nice ladies.

  4. Guess what, there are other parties that you have defamed as well and will be part of the law suit. Standby to standby Matt LaFever.

  5. If she was so put off why would she give her number? You know why? I do, because she friend requested him on social media after he arrested her and charged her with tons of fines. She reached out to him. “I want to get to know you on a personal level outside of being a cop”. Her words. Don’t always be a pawn to one persons statement. 10 years later she wants to play part in being a victim. Why? Is it because she was given a DUI and wants to jump on the bandwagon of what’s trending at the moment. She knows who she is and she knows she has not told the truth. Shame on you!!!

    • Oh Laura… why are you so pressed? You must know the cop personally? So let’s say things happened the way you are saying, who was the professional here?? Who was the law?? Who should have reported such messages to law enforcement?? Who should have known this was wrong?? Who should have never responded to that social media request BECAUSE HE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER!!! SHAME ON YOU . People like you piss me off. They were both wrong. They both jumped into bed together as grown adults. They are both equally wrong!!!

  6. Lets look into not the women who gave into these types of requests such as those recently let go all across our county. However what may have happened to those that refused. You all know the many mysteries surrounding woman missing locally in the last 15 years to start.

  7. I guess the issue here is this guy was using his badge and uniform as a type of coercion. He is perfectly free to pursue women on his own time, but they should be women who are not involved in any kind of legal trouble involving his arresting them or charging them or even giving them tickets. The reason is obvious, that he could easily use his position to extort (or bribe) them into dating him, or even pull women over to get to know them. Police are just guys and police need to find their dates the way other guys do. Otherwise it could be a real free-for-all out there.

  8. Officer [edit] is next, dating girls who are high on Xanax and dating multiple women at once. Let’s do an article on that!


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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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