According to two sources with knowledge of the incident, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and colliding with his squad car in the Santa Clarita area Friday night.
Rep. Carlos Lopez was missing for nearly an hour after the crash at Pico Canyon Road and Southern Oaks Drive at Stevenson Ranch, which sparked a major law enforcement reaction, according to sources not authorized to speak publicly. The Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported that 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 a hospital for treatment for a possible head injury and was released a short time later. He was arrested and then released on drink driving charges, one of the sources told The Times. He was relieved from duty.
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 congressman was found at 10:20 p.m., Congressman Brenda Serna, a department spokeswoman, said Friday night.
The signal, citing an anonymous source, said the MP was on his way home from work. Another off-duty MP came to the scene and drove him home, the newspaper reported. It is unclear if this MP also faces charges or disciplinary action.
Serna had declined on Friday night to provide details of where the deputy was found, but said the officer was conscious and breathing. When asked for comment Saturday morning, the department did not immediately provide additional information and said it was working on a statement.
Lopez had a spare gun with him at the time of the crash, a Times 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 accident.
Times reporters James Queally and Gregory Yee contributed to this report.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-27/los-angeles-county-sheriff-deputy-arrested-suspicion-drunk-driving-crashing-patrol-vehicle L.A. County sheriff’s deputy arrested in drunk driving, crash case