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San Diego cop accused of DUI, leaving scene of accident

Yet another officer is under criminal investigation, this time for allegations of drunk driving and leaving the scene of a collision.
San Diego cop accused of DUI, leaving scene of accident

By Adrienne Moore and David Gotfredson

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Another San Diego police officer is under criminal investigation; this time on allegations of drunken driving and leaving the scene of a traffic collision in Serra Mesa.

With felony and misdemeanor investigations into the conduct of three San Diego police officers currently underway, a fourth case has now been turned over to the district attorney's office for review and possible felony charges.

"Generally, officers who are intoxicated and hit someone and cause injury when they're intoxicated and then flee the scene, do not keep their job," former district attorney Paul Pfingst said.

Motorcycle traffic officer David Hall, 41, is accused of being drunk when he crashed his vehicle – described by a witness as a brown GMC -- into a gray Mustang driven by a woman on Murray Ridge Road at the onramp to northbound I-805 on the evening of Feb. 22.  The police call came in at 7:27 p.m.

According to police dispatch logs turned over to News 8 under the California Public Records Act, Hall left the scene of the accident and took off on northbound I-805.  But a police source tells News 8 the 14-year department veteran claimed he did stop at the accident scene and only left after the female driver said she was okay.

SDPD redacted the dispatch logs to edit out key information, including the names of the parties involved in the incident and the license plate numbers of vehicles.

"The steps and the analysis are this for the DA: was he drunk? Did he hit someone? Was the person seriously injured? Did he run away knowing he left someone on the road who was seriously injured? And did he have a high (blood alcohol level)? If the all the answers to those questions are yes, someone can go to state prison for that," Pfingst said.

The police source said Officer Hall willingly submitted to a breathalyzer test outside of his Linda Vista home.  The source said Hall's blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.  Even so, Officer Hall apparently was not arrested.

A department spokesperson released this statement to News 8:

"Although no arrest has been made, there is an ongoing investigation involving the off-duty conduct of a San Diego police officer. The case has been referred to the District Attorney's office for further review."

The department spokesperson also told News 8 that SDPD has launched its own internal, personnel investigation into the incident involving Officer Hall.

Hall has been placed on paid administrative duty at the SDPD traffic division pending the outcome of the investigation, officials confirmed.

News 8 caught up with Officer Hall arriving home from work on a bicycle Tuesday night.  The officer said he had no comment on the case.  Hall provided the name of his attorney, who did not immediately return telephone messages Tuesday evening.

The case follows three other recent investigations of SDPD officers.

San Diego police vice officer, Art Perea, 42, resigned March 4 after a student at Point Loma Nazarene University said he raped her at an El Cajon home. Perea has not been charged and his case remains under investigation.

Veteran SDPD traffic officer Anthony Arevalos, 40, was arrested March 11 after a woman accused him of sexual battery inside a restroom following a DUI traffic stop in the Gaslamp Quarter. Arevalos has pleaded not guilty to 18 felony counts involving five women, including sexual battery, assault under color of authority and receiving a bribe.

San Diego police officer Roel Tungcab, 39, was taken into custody by sheriff's deputies on March 24 after a dispute with his wife at his home in Imperial Beach. Tungcab is facing misdemeanor domestic violence charges, court records show.

Editor's Note: The original version of this report inaccurately identified the vehicle involved in the collision as a gray Chevy Suburban. In fact, the vehicle was a gray Mustang.

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