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San Diego

A San Diego narcotics detective who wrecked a city-owned unmarked car, injuring himself and three other off-duty officers, was placed on probation Thursday for reckless driving.

Jesse R. Almos, 38, pleaded guilty July 31 to reckless driving, a misdemeanor. Almos received three years’ informal probation and was ordered by San Diego Municipal Court Judge Frederic Link to pay a $500 fine.

Almos and the three other officers had been drinking prior to the accident Jan. 24, but San Diego Police Department blood tests showed none of the officers was legally drunk, according to Assistant Chief Bob Burgreen.

The accident occurred at L and 13th streets after Almos, who was traveling at more than 60 m.p.h. in a 25 m.p.h. zone, ran four stop signs and struck a telephone pole.

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Judge Link said he did not order Almos to serve time in custody because there was no reason to believe Almos intended to wreck the car. Link also cited Almos’ long undercover police record and 17 years with the police force as reasons that custody was not appropriate.

“If I were to put him in jail, his life would very definitely be put in danger,” Link said.

The San Diego County Probation Department had recommended a 60-day sentence and a $675 fine. The maximum was a 90-day jail term.

Almos, who was hospitalized for six weeks with a broken pelvis, arm and legs and head injuries, will undergo another operation in four months.

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Because of the extent of his injuries, Almos told a probation officer: “I’ll never be able to do police work again.” Almos also said he had no memory of the crash.

But Almos’ attorney, James Gattey, said Almos will be ready to return to active duty in mid-1987.


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