DRUNKEN DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED ON CHARGES OF HITTING FAMILY OF THREE WITH VEHICLE AND LEAVING 2-YEAR-OLD BOY DEAD


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # TBA






November 14, 2011

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

DRUNKEN DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED ON CHARGES OF HITTING FAMILY OF THREE WITH VEHICLE AND LEAVING 2-YEAR-OLD BOY DEAD

 

SANTA ANA – A drunken driver will be arraigned today on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated hit and run after he hit a family of three and killing a 2-year-old boy. Angel Alberto Cruz Perez, 23, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing bodily injury, hit and run with permanent injury or death, and one misdemeanor count of driving a motor vehicle without a license, with sentencing enhancement allegations for causing great bodily injury to a child under 5 years old, fleeing the scene, and an additional injured person. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 16 years in state prison. The defendant is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned today, Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

 

At about 3:00 p.m. on Nov. 9, 2011, Perez is accused of purchasing and consuming four buckets of beer with a friend at Mariscos Ensenada Restaurant in Santa Ana. Each pitcher contains six bottles of beer.

 

At approximately 6:20 p.m., Perez is accused of leaving the restaurant intoxicated with his friend and driving his 1998 Toyota 4-Runner Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), with his friend in the passenger seat. He is accused of not possessing a valid California driver’s license. As Perez drove northbound on Bewley Street and approached the intersection on 5th Street, he is accused of failing to yield for the three pedestrians crossing, mother Yesenia Romero, who was carrying her 1-year-old daughter while holding her 2-year-old son Darwin Almeida’s hand. At the intersection, Perez is accused of running a stop sign and hitting Almeida. The force of the impact caused Romero to lose grip of her son’s hand, and Almeida was pulled under the vehicle. The defendant is accused of hitting Yesenia Romero with his vehicle as she carried her daughter in her arms, sending her on top of the front hood of the SUV and throwing her back on the ground. The two children’s father, who worked across the street from the intersection, heard the commotion and ran outside and saw his family involved in the collision.

 

After hitting Romero and her two small children, Perez is accused of continuing to drive with reason to know he caused an accident and fleeing the scene without offering help or aid. He is accused of driving for another mile back to his house.

 

Witnesses contacted police with Perez’s license plate number and a description of the SUV. The Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) found the defendant at home. Perez is accused of preparing to drive to work. Perez is accused of performing poorly on his Field Sobriety Test given by SAPD.

 

Darwin Almeida was transported by ambulance wit