Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Officer Daniel Cruz Arrested for Aggravated DUI

A Rockford police officer was arrested Monday night on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of a two-vehicle accident that left a woman critically injured, Boone County Sheriff’s officials said today.

Daniel A. Cruz, 37, of Machesney Park was arrested on charges of leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident, aggravated DUI, aggravated reckless driving, improper passing, driving in the wrong lane and operating a vehicle without proof of insurance.

The name and age of the critically injured woman and the names and conditions of three others in the same vehicle were not immediately available.

Cruz, a 13-year veteran of the department, reportedly was off-duty when the accident happened.

Witnesses said he was traveling south on Beloit Road in a gray 2010 Dodge Caravan when he entered the intersection of Town Hall Road, which is uphill, on a curve and in a no-passing zone. Cruz’s van struck a northbound vehicle, believed to be an Oldsmobile, containing four people.

According to the complaint filed in Boone County Court, Cruz left the scene of the accident by walking away. He was found a half mile from the scene, still walking.

According to the probable cause statement, Cruz admitted to consuming alcohol.

The officer described Cruz as having a “strong odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath, bloodshot-glassy eyes, unsteady on his feet and using the squad car for balance.”

Boone County State’s Attorney Michelle Courier said Cruz refused all chemical testing. A court order was eventually obtained. However, it was unknown how much time passed before the blood draw was made.

Cruz’s blood-alcohol content was not available.

Rockford police Chief Chet Epperson could not be reached today for comment.

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