An off-duty Napa police officer was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and hit and run Saturday night, after he allegedly lost control of his Ford F250 truck on Monticello Road, struck a large tree, rolled his vehicle over and hit a parked car that was pushed into a home.
According to the California Highway Patrol, driver Sean Ulitin, 37, of Napa, registered more than three times the legal blood alcohol limit on two breathalyzer tests that were administered by the CHP at the scene.
CHP Sgt. William Bradshaw said Ulitin blew a 0.26 and a 0.28 blood alcohol level shortly after the crash. The legal limit is 0.08.
Ulitin reportedly sustained minor injuries at the scene and was arrested on charges of hit and run and DUI. No one else was injured in the crash.
According to the CHP collision report, Ulitin was traveling southbound at an unknown rate of speed at about 9:40 p.m. Saturday, when he made what CHP officers described as an “unsafe turning movement.” Because of the movement, Ulitin's truck reportedly traveled off the west edge of Monticello Road, struck a large tree and then rolled over.
Ulitin’s upside down white Ford truck continued to slide after rolling over, crashing into a Volkswagen that was parked in the driveway of a residence on Monticello Road, before coming to rest. According to officers, the force of Ulitin’s truck pushed the Volkswagen into the southeast corner of the owner’s Monticello Road home.
Ulitin was then reportedly helped out of his truck by residents who witnessed the crash. While they attempted to check on Ulitin’s welfare, he allegedly refused to stay until authorities arrived, fleeing northbound on Monticello Road on foot. One of the residents followed Ulitin and alerted officers to his location, just north of the scene, said the CHP. Upon finding Ulitin, officers took him into custody and arrested him for DUI and hit and run.
According to a Monticello Road resident who witnessed others trying to detain Ulitin, he was visibly intoxicated and obviously trying to flee the scene.
“A couple of guys were trying to stop him from leaving after they helped him out of the car,” said the neighbor, who asked not to be named. “They told him he needed to sit down because he could be hurt, but he refused to listen. The neighbors eventually let him go and he ran northbound on Monticello.”
Napa Police Capt. Jeff Troendly confirmed that a Napa police officer was involved in an alleged DUI collision on Saturday, but refused to discuss the incident further, citing personnel and privacy constraints. He referred further questions to the CHP.
Bradshaw said the investigation is ongoing and that the final incident report has yet to be completed. He declined to comment further on the case until the final report is completed.
Napa Mayor Jill Techel said Monday afternoon that while she couldn't comment on the specifics of the incident -- also citing personnel matters -- she wondered if the city could do more to educate people on how to keep themselves safe.
"Knowing the signs of when you need to stay home and not go out is something we need to educate people on," she said.
The Register attempted to determine Ulitin's status as a city employee. Police Chief Rich Melton could not be reached for comment.