RIVERSIDE – No charges had been filed as of late today against a Riverside police lieutenant arrested after crashing an unmarked city-issued car into a mailbox and retaining wall over the weekend.
The collision occurred in the 6700 block of Rycroft Drive about 2 a.m. Sunday, and responding officers gave Lt. Larry Gonzalez a breath test, took his license and booked the 44-year-old lawman on suspicion of drunken driving.
Like in the case of former police Chief Russ Leach, who three years ago crashed a city-owned car on Super Bowl weekend, officers took Gonzalez home — not to jail. Police defended their actions in comments to the Riverside Press- Enterprise.
”Nobody took Russ Leach’s driver’s license,” Assistant Chief Chris Vicino told the newspaper. ”We took Gonzalez’s license. Nobody arrested Russ Leach; we arrested Larry Gonzalez.”
District attorney’s spokesman John Hall said no charges had been filed against Gonzalez as of this afternoon. Gonzalez remains on duty with driving restrictions.
The 20-year veteran of the department, who works as a watch commander, went to a retirement party Saturday night for Lt. Chris Manning at the Riverside Elks Lodge, Mayor William ”Rusty” Bailey told the P-E. The mayor had been at the party himself and said it appeared patrol officers handled the lieutenant’s arrest by the book.