Is There A Cover-Up In Oceanside Cop DUI Case?
08-22-08 at 7:33PM
There's speculation about a possible cover-up in the Oceanside Police Department, after word that an Oceanside police officer was booked on suspicion of DUI after a crash that injured a fellow officer.
Oceanside police Officer Dwight Carwell is on desk duty while his DUI incident is being closely investigated. The 46-year-old's life was turned upside down two and-a-half months ago in Del Mar a mile south of I-5's Via de la Valle exit.
According to investigators, Officer Carwell was driving in the number one lane, northbound I-5 between 55 and 65 miles per hour. In a statement to police, Officer Carwell says he was cut off by an unknown vehicle, which caused him to lose control of his 2006 black Nissan Titan pickup truck.
We're told seconds later, around 2 a.m., Carwell swerved across four lanes and an asphalt shoulder before tumbling down an embankment. He and his passenger were taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital.
Carwell complained of pain, including pinching in the neck. His passenger also complained of pain and suffered visible scrapes on the top of his head, right arm and right side rib area.
News 8 has learned the officer's wreck was taken to a Carlsbad towing company yard. It was released to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, who then allowed it to be salvaged 38 days after the accident.
Officer Carwell has been booked on suspicion of felony driving under the influence. In California, drunken driving can be a felony if another person is injured.
When we asked the CHP for a copy of the incident report, they refused, saying the media is not a party of interest in the case, nor are we part of the protocol in getting the report. When we wanted to know exactly what Officer Carwell's blood alcohol level was, all authorities would reveal is that it was above the state's legal limit of .08.
Oceanside police officials say they are not aware of any previous DUI incidents involving Officer Carwell.
Meantime, a spokeswoman for the San Diego County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving told News 8:
"Regardless of his officer status, he should be treated as a human being who made a mistake."
Officer Carwell's case is currently being reviewed by the district attorney's office. They would not go on camera and would only say charges have not been filed as of this date.
COMMENT: Now, we all know that San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will do whatever she can to avoid charging this police officer. It is the modus operandi of the District Attorney's office not to charge police officers who have committed crimes. And I wonder...if it were just one of my "regular" clients - perhaps a truck driver, a doctor, a homemaker or someother reguar Joe - if MADD would come out and try to soften the blow by claiming this drunk rollover accident was just a "mistake? No, MADD is just as two-faced as our District Attorney when it comes to police committing crimes. Police should be held more accountabel than regular citizens. But they are not. At least in San Diego, they are not.