LAPD Officer Arrested on Suspicion of DUI in McDonald's Crash

The driver crashed off a freeway east of Los Angeles and into the restaurant parking lot

By Kevin LaBeach, Nyree Arabian and Jonathan Lloyd
|  Friday, Mar 21, 2014  |  Updated 9:37 PM PDT
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An off-duty LAPD officer was arrested in connection with a DUI after a dramatic crash involving the officer. The car flew off the side of the 60 Freeway and into a fast food restaurant in Diamond Bar. Jane Yamamoto reports from Diamond Bar for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 21, 2014.

Jane Yamamoto/Beth Slepp-Paz

An off-duty LAPD officer was arrested in connection with a DUI after a dramatic crash involving the officer. The car flew off the side of the 60 Freeway and into a fast food restaurant in Diamond Bar. Jane Yamamoto reports from Diamond Bar for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 21, 2014.

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LAPD Officer Arrested on Suspicion of DUI After Crash

A 29-year-old LAPD officer was arrested after crashing his personal vehicle off a freeway in Diamond Bar and landing in a McDonald's drive-thru. The officer was charged with driving under the influence. Jane Yamamoto reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Friday, March 21, 2014.
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A Los Angeles Police Department officer was arrested Friday morning after his personal car crashed off the westbound Pomona (60) Freeway in Diamond Bar and ended up in a McDonald’s drive-thru, according to authorities.

The driver lost control of the vehicle after getting off the freeway at Brea Canyon around 1 a.m.

The car landed near the drive-thru lane at a McDonald’s restaurant next to the freeway, the CHP said.

According to a witness, the car blocked both of the drive-thru lanes at the restaurant, located about 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

The driver was identified as Officer Jonathan Chel, of Fullerton, who was hospitalized in stable condition. He was booked into custody on suspicion of DUI.

Neighbor Candice Weidman said Chel was a quiet and respectful neigbor.

She was shocked because he would go out of his way to have his friends stay the night to sober up after football parties, she said.

"He was very cognizant of that and so were his friends because of the drinking-and-driving issue," Weidman said.

LAPD officials confirmed Friday morning that the 29-year-old driver is an LAPD officer.

"I'm the first one to respond and all I hear is one person yelling like, 'Oh, there's somebody in there. Do you have anything to break the window?'" McDonald's employee Aaron Morales said. "I had keys in my hand. I sat there for about two minutes just trying to break the window, anything I could, wrap my hand up and just started banging on it."

Morales said that an employee at a nearby gas station had a tire iron that he was about to use to break the window, but then police arrived and assisted the driver.

The driver was taken by LA County Fire to UCI Medical Center with traumatic injuries. The CHP is asking anyone with any information to call the Baldwin Park offices at 626-338-1164.

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