L.A. County sheriff’s deputy arrested in drunk driving, crash case

L.A. County sheriff's deputy arrested in drunk driving, crash case

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk and crashing his patrol vehicle Friday night in the Santa Clarita area, the department said in a statement Saturday afternoon.

Deputy Carlos Lopez went missing for nearly an hour following the crash at Pico Canyon Road and Southern Oaks Drive in Stevenson Ranch, triggering a major law enforcement response, according to sources who weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported the deputy was found a short time later at his home nearby.

Lopez is a member of the department’s elite Special Enforcement Bureau, which includes SWAT, sources told The Times.

Lopez was taken to Henry Mayo Hospital for treatment due to a possible head injury and was released a short time later. He was arrested and released with a citation for a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, one of the sources told The Times. He has been relieved of duty, the department said.

The investigation began after the deputy’s patrol SUV was found crashed in some bushes around 9:30 p.m., according to NBC4. The missing deputy was found at 10:20 p.m., Deputy Brenda Serna, a department spokesperson, said Friday night.

The Signal quoting an anonymous source said the deputy was on his way home from work. Another off-duty deputy came to the scene and drove him home, one of the sources told The Times. It’s unclear whether that deputy will also face charges or discipline.

Serna on Friday night had refused to provide details about where the deputy was found, but said the officer was conscious and breathing.

“Due to the active investigation, we are unable to comment further,” the department said in its statement Saturday.

Lopez had a backup firearm with him at the time of the crash, a source told The Times. Another source told The Times that Lopez left his gun, phone and SWAT gear in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Times reporters James Queally and Gregory Yee contributed to this report.

Soruce : https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-27/los-angeles-county-sheriff-deputy-arrested-suspicion-drunk-driving-crashing-patrol-vehicle

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