WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. —Action News Investigates has learned the West Mifflin school board narrowly voted against suspending Superintendent Daniel Castagna after he was charged with driving under the influence. Sources say the vote came after a heated discussion behind closed doors.According to a police report, Castagna was pulled over at 3 a.m. Friday while driving on Interstate 376 westbound near the Center Township exit in Beaver County.AdvertisementA state trooper saw his car “weaving erratically and then abruptly swerve to the right,” according to the police report. When the trooper pulled him over, Castagna was slurring his words, smelled of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot. A hospital test showed Castagna had a blood alcohol level of .15, nearly twice the legal limit.Stay updated with breaking news: Download the WTAE mobile appCastagna faces charges of driving under the influence, careless driving and traffic offenses. A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 27.Castagna was not immediately available for comment.District Solicitor, Matthew Racunas, released the following statement:As reported, the District’s Superintendent is being charged with DUI during non-work hours. Dr. Castagna has informed the District that he has not yet received any documents relating to the charges.The District takes these allegations seriously. However, the law requires that Dr. Castagna be provided with due process. Currently, there are no convictions relating to any offense. The District will continue to closely monitor the situation as it proceeds through the court system going forward. Beyond that, at this time, the District cannot comment further as this remains a confidential personnel matter.
An off-duty LAPD officer was the driver of a Chevy Camaro that rear-ended a vehicle on the 605 Freeway in Whittier on Tuesday night, killing its three occupants, the California Highway Patrol said.Joseph Serna and Kate MatherContact ReportersThe Los Angeles Police Department has opened an administrative investigation after one of its officers was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a boy and his parents Tuesday night.The officer, 26-year-old Edgar Verduzco, was driving a 2016 Chevy Camaro in the southbound carpool lane of the 605 Freeway about 10:30 p.m. in Whittier when, for reasons still unknown, he steered the vehicle to the right and into the fast lane, where it collided with the rear of a Nissan carrying a mother, father and their son, the California Highway Patrol said.The Nissan, which had been traveling about 65 mph, burst into flames, trapping the family inside, the CHP said. All three were pronounced dead at the scene. The boy was believed to be in his teens, CHP Officer Al Perez said. The victims probably won’t be positively identified until at least next week because the bodies are so badly charred, the coroner said.After colliding with the Nissan, Verduzco’s Camaro continued into the No. 2 lane, where it struck a Toyota Scion before coming to a stop, the CHP said. The driver of the Scion suffered minor injuries.
Chief Charlie Beck addressed his officer’s arrest at a news conference Wednesday.“My heart goes out to the victims and their families, and I cannot tell you how angry and disappointed I am that a Los Angeles police officer would disregard the law and cause an accident with such awful, awful consequences,” Beck said. “This is an awful, awful thing.”The agency has opened an administrative investigation into Verduzco and is cooperating with the CHP, he said.Verduzco is an Army veteran who did a tour in Afghanistan and joined the department two years ago, Beck said. Verduzco was stationed at the front desk of the Central Division and has had an “unremarkable” career thus far, Beck said.Beck said it was too early in the case to discuss discipline, but he said that if the allegations proved to be true, it could merit sending the officer to a disciplinary board for potential termination.The officer will continue to be paid pending further disciplinary action by the department.Verduzco suffered a broken nose in the crash and was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI causing injuries, authorities said. He is being held on $100,000 bail.The Los Angeles Police Protective League also released a statement regarding Verduzco’s arrest.“No words can express our deep sorrow over this horrible tragedy and the loss this family will carry with them for the rest of their lives,” the union’s statement said. “There’s never an excuse for driving under the influence, and if Officer Verduzco is found guilty of what he is accused of, then he should suffer the consequences for his reckless actions.”There were no open containers or alcohol in the car, but Verduzco showed symptoms of intoxication, Perez said.A SigAlert was issued and traffic lanes were shut down. They reopened before 4 a.m. Wednesday.The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
I am wondering if I should or should not request a hearing. I just received the paper in the mail. I did submit to a chemical test. BAC was .271. I am not sure what the hearing is going to do? Please help?
In almost every case you should request a hearing. There always is a possibility that you may not lose your license under this law. It could save 20 months on an interlock license. We offer free consultations. Please call.
PLAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – A man who was arrested in Plain Township, Ohio last week hoped his girlfriend would come pick him up from the Stark County Sheriff’s Office.
She did, but there was a problem. She was drunk, too.
According to the sheriff’s office, a sergeant first spotted 23-year-old Kristopher Fox speeding. He ended up clocking Fox going 42 mph in a 25 mph zone.
The sergeant initiated a traffic stop. As he was approaching the car, he said he smelled a strong odor of alcohol.
In the report, the sergeant said he observed an empty 12-pack of beer of the passenger seat, as well as another 12-pack with a couple beers missing.
Fox allegedly admitted to drinking “a few beers.” The sergeant conducted field sobriety tests, which Fox failed. He ultimately took a breathalyzer test with a .147 BAC result.
He was taken to the Stark County Sheriff’s Office and charged with OVI. He asked that authorities call his girlfriend to pick him up.
The sergeant called his girlfriend, 29-year-old Brandi Rae Coen, but over the phone, she appeared to sound intoxicated.
The sergeant told her that, if she was drunk, she shouldn’t drive, according to the sheriff’s office report. She said she was okay and that she had not been drinking.
When Coen showed up, the sergeant said she smelled like alcohol, had glassy eyes and appeared to have trouble walking.
During field sobriety testing, she reportedly said she was too drunk and told the sergeant to just take her to jail.
After she was arrested, authorities found two children in her car — ages 5 and 9.
Coen also took a breathalyzer test and registered a .162 BAC. She was charged with OVI and two counts of child endangering.
The Springfield Public Schools director of transportation has been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
The district says it’s aware of Rick Emling’s situation and is reviewing all the information relating to it.
But in a news release, R-12 Spokeswoman Teresa Bledsoe says “personnel issues are confidential, so at this time, I do not have any additional information to share.”
Emling was stopped by a state trooper just after midnight Saturday morning near Sunshine and Lone Pine in Springfield, and according to a Highway Patrol arrest report, he failed to signal and drive within a single lane.
Emling was booked into the Greene County jail, but was released sometime over the weekend.
He does not face any formal charges at this time.
CAPE CORAL, Fla. –
The victim in last week’s crash involving a Lee County commissioner in Cape Coral has hired a lawyer.
The woman police say was hit by Commissioner John Manning, Justine Maher, told us she’s looking for the professional guidance and support through the process. She’s also looking for money for medical expenses and to fix her car.
According to the police report, the commissioner ran a red light and crashed into Maher’s vehicle before slamming into a light pole in a nearby parking lot.
After failing several tests, Manning was arrested, facing three DUI-related charges, including two counts of damaging property.