Engel & Völkers parts with real estate adviser after DUI arrest, racially charged comments

The agent told arresting officers they should let her go because she was a 'clean, thoroughbred, white girl'

A South Carolina real estate agent who made national headlines after being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and trying to convince officers not to book her because she’s a “clean, thoroughbred, white girl” no longer works for Engel & Völkers.

Lauren Elizabeth Cutshaw, a 32-year-old who spent five weeks working as an independent contractor at the Engel & Völkers‘ Hilton Head branch and whose official title was “real estate adviser,” was pulled over by the police after running a four-way stop at 60 miles an hour, according to a police report first obtained by local outlet Island Packet. The officers who pulled Cutshaw over described her eyes as “bloodshot and glossy” and said she smelled of alcohol when they made her leave the car.

Lauren Cutshaw

Former Engel & Volkers real estate adviser Lauren Cutshaw | Credit: Engel & Volkers

After Cutshaw told the police she was “celebrating [her] birthday” and had only a couple of glasses, officers made her pass a breathalyzer test that came up at more than double the state’s legal limit at 0.18 percent. The real estate agent then proceeded to name reasons why she shouldn’t get arrested, telling the officers that she’s a “clean, thoroughbred, white girl” and had been a cheerleader who received “perfect grades” in school.

When officers asked Cutshaw what her race had to do with her driving under the influence, she allegedly responded “you’re a cop, you should know what that means.”

“Making statements such as these as a means to justify not being arrested are unusual in my experience as a law enforcement officer and I believe further demonstrate the suspect’s level of intoxication,” the arresting officer wrote in the report.

Cutshaw was arrested and booked into Beaufort County Detention Center on charges of driving under the influence, speeding, disregarding a stop sign as well as possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The incident was covered by Newsweek and The New York Post as well as Buzzfeed News.

Cutshaw is a licensed salesperson, according to the South Carolina Real Estate Commission. As of Wednesday afternoon, Cutshaw’s online profile at Engel & Völkers had been taken down. An Engel & Völkers representative told Inman that the company “no longer [has] a relationship with” Cutshaw. Cutshaw did not immediately reply to Inman’s request for comment.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note that Cutshaw was an agent licensed as a salesperson.

Email Veronika Bondarenko