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Smashed Call Box in Car Leads to Arrest of Suspected Drunk

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It was an unusual sight that unfolded before Officer Paul Cottrell, even for a holiday weekend graveyard shift.

At 3:11 a.m. Saturday, the Westminster patrolman came upon a man staggering and falling in the middle of the intersection of Golden West Street and Garden Grove Boulevard. Near him was a 1973 Ford Pinto with a freeway call box and post sticking through the windshield.

The number of the call box, SD 191, meant it belonged on the San Diego Freeway at Carson Street, 17 miles away in Carson. The California Highway Patrol checked and found that SD 191 was indeed missing.

Cottrell said the man admitted he owned the car but denied driving it. He was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public and of giving a false name to police. Officers later identified him at Jesus Lazcano, 20, of Carson. He was cited, then released, officers said.

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The CHP office in Torrance fetched its missing call box and began a hit-and-run-driving investigation.

CHP officers in Westminster said it appears Lazcano ran into the call box, which flipped upward and through his windshield, but kept on driving. “It doesn’t appear that he knew it had happened,” a spokesman said.

Lazcano drove 15 miles to the Golden West turnoff, then two miles to Garden Grove Boulevard, where he flagged down Officer Cottrell and was arrested, the spokesman said.


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