Long Beach fire captain pleads guilty to hit-and-run DUI
SANTA ANA, Calif.—A Long Beach fire captain pleaded guilty today to drunken driving and other charges stemming from a hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a bicyclist.
John David Hines, 38, of Huntington Beach, was sent to a state prison for 90 days for a “diagnostic evaluation” program that provides treatment and recommends prison time or probation, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz said.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in December, and he faces a sentence ranging from probation to six years and eight months in prison. Katz said he will recommend a prison sentence.
“For me, it is a state prison case, but I’d be surprised if the judge gives him that,” Katz said.
The April 1 collision seriously hurt 47-year-old bicyclist Jeffrey Gordon. Katz said the fire department captain should be held to a higher standard, Katz said.
“It’s not your standard DUI,” Katz said. “This is a guy who was three times the legal limit at 1 in the afternoon. He knows better. This is a guy who’s been sliding for a long time. And for a first responder who treats people at the scene to flee the scene is unconscionable. He should not be dealt with the same. He should be held to a higher standard.”
Hines spent the morning of April 1 drinking at the Schooner or Later bar in Long Beach before getting behind the wheel of his Chevrolet pickup about 1:20 p.m., Katz said.
Hines was eastbound on Westminster Avenue between Bolsa Chica and Seal Beach Boulevard in Seal Beach about 1:30 p.m. when he lost control of the truck and swerved into the bike lane, hitting Gordon, Katz said.
Hines did not appear to slow down or try to brake, according to the prosecutor, who said two other drivers who saw the collision called 911 as they followed Hines.
Hines drove home to Huntington Beach, where he was arrested, Katz said.
He had a blood-alcohol level of .24 percent, about three times the legal limit, about two hours following the crash, the prosecutor said.
Gordon was treated for head and spinal injuries and a broken back at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where he was hospitalized for two weeks.
Gordon still suffers from back pain, Katz said.
Hines’ attorney, Vincent Tucci, did not immediately respond to messages for comment.
Hines pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit, and hit and run with injury with sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury and having a blood-alcohol level more than .20 percent.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today reestablished a $10,000 reward for information leading to whoever fatally shot a 26-year-old Long Beach resident and left him lying in the street.
Supervisor Don Knabe, who recommended reinstating the reward, which had expired, called the shooting “heinous.”
Lashown Fils was killed on Jan. 11, 2012, at 3:55 a.m. in the 200 block of West 14th Street.
For a decade, 0.08 has been the blood alcohol benchmark to consider a driver intoxicated
National Transportation Safety Board would like to see a nationwide 0.05 level
The board would also like to see swifter action on taking away offenders’ licenses
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — Former NFL receiver Titus Young remained in jail today for suspicion of breaking into a San Clemente home, his third arrest in a week.
This time, the 23-year-old ex-St. Louis Ram was arrested about 11:30 p.m. Friday in the 3700 block of Calle Casino, where Young fled on foot when officers arrived.
LONG BEACH, Calif. — An ammonia leak at a cold storage facility in Long Beach today prompted authorities to close freeway offramps in the area for nearly five hours while crews worked to handle the problem.
The leak was reported at the Long Beach Cold Storage and Logistics facility at Anaheim Street and Daisy Avenue around 3:30 a.m. , the Long Beach Fire Department reported.
The facility is the same where a leak was discovered Feb. 2, said Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Matt Dobberpuhl.
Nearly 500 people turned out Saturday for a town hall discussion on the status of Black children in California’s public education and system.
The event, sponsored by Congresswoman Karen Bass, D-Calif., was held at Audubon Middle School in the Crenshaw District and drew people ranging from high school students attending local campuses, to former school district superintendents, to educational professionals, to parents to concerned community stakeholders.