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California

LAPD sergeant arrested on suspicion of DUI in hit-and-run crashes in Long Beach

A Los Angeles police sergeant was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after his vehicle apparently struck two parked cars on a waterfront street in Long Beach on Tuesday night, authorities said.

Oscar Ontiveros, 46, of San Pedro was driving in the 1500 block of East Ocean Blvd. when his black sedan struck the vehicles around 7:20 p.m., said Shaunna Dandoy, a public information officer for the Long Beach Police Department.

Officers responded to the scene and received a description of the vehicle, which was spotted less than a mile away in the 200 block of Alamitos Avenue about 10 minutes later, police said. Ontiveros, who “appeared to be under the influence,” was taken into custody, Dandoy said.

He was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence and causing a hit-and-run crash, Dandoy said. Ontiveros was released on his own recognizance Tuesday night. No one was reported injured, Dandoy said.

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Ontiveros is a sergeant assigned to the LAPD’s Southeast Division, according to Josh Rubenstein, the department’s chief spokesman. An administrative investigation has been launched, Rubenstein said.

Ontiveros could not be reached for comment Wednesday. According to the LAPD’s website, Ontiveros is a former senior lead officer.

Ontiveros’ arrest was the latest in a series of alcohol-related incidents involving LAPD officers.

Last month, an off-duty detective shot a homeless man after a middle-of-the-night brawl on skid row that left both men hospitalized for several days. No one has been arrested and investigators are unsure how the fight started, but the officer’s gun was stolen during the fracas. It has since been recovered.

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Weeks earlier, Cmdr. Jeff Nolte became the subject of an internal investigation after his city vehicle was found wrecked and abandoned in Carson. Nolte, who had been in charge of the unit that investigates shootings by officers, has since been demoted.

The circumstances of Nolte’s car crash remain murky. According to 911 recordings from the incident, several motorists reported seeing a severely damaged car traveling at high speed on the 405 Freeway.

One motorist told the operator that the driver appeared to be “really drunk” and was “driving on the front axle.”

james.queally@latimes.com

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for crime and police news in California.


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