Cathedral City, CA
An alleged drunk driver who crashed into a police car that was stopped to investigate a prior crash, injuring a Cathedral City officer, a nurse and a prisoner seated in the back of the patrol unit, was in custody today.
Cruz Octavio Rodriguez, 25, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving causing bodily injury following the 11:52 p.m. Tuesday crash in the 33000 block of Cathedral Canyon Drive.
Officers were in the area investigating a crash that had previously occurred there when Rodriguez allegedly slammed into a car involved in the original crash, as well as a Cathedral City Police Department car, according to Cmdr. Julio Luna.
A nurse helping officers at the scene suffered moderate injuries, while a Cathedral City officer suffered minor injuries, Luna said. A prisoner seated in the back of the police car also reported a complaint of pain. Rodriguez was taken into custody at the scene by California Highway Patrol officers, the commander said.
He was booked into the Riverside County jail in Indio in lieu of $50,000 bail. Court records show that at the time of the crash, Rodriguez was on probation for a previous DUI that occurred in Palm Springs. He pleaded guilty last December to two misdemeanor DUI counts.
Cathedral City police said Rodriguez’s apprehension marked the 24th DUI-related arrest in the city this year and the 10th DUI-related crash. “We were very fortunate last night that the injuries caused by Rodriguez were not far more serious, and I am tired of seeing lives impacted by the selfish decision made by those who elect to drive impaired,” Police Chief Travis Walker said.
Walker said the department will continue to seek grant funding to support increased patrols aimed at targeting impaired drivers. “With all of the various modes of public transportation and Uber/Lyft options available nowadays, it is incomprehensible how and why we are still seeing the level of drivers still choosing to drive while impaired,” Walker said.