An Alameda County sheriff’s deputy is back on active duty after allegedly crashing his car into a Livermore home while driving drunk in May and punching the home’s owner – a retired Oakland police sergeant – in the face.
The deputy, NBC Bay Area confirmed, is related through marriage to the department’s second-in-command, Undersheriff Richard Lucia. Department spokesperson Sgt. Ray Kelly said the family relationship never factored into the decision to reinstate the deputy.
Livermore police say Deputy Gael Paredes, 27, had a blood alcohol content more than double the legal limit when he crashed his Honda into the retaining wall of a home on Jeannie Way belonging to retired Oakland police Sergeant Myron Hanson. The car was resting on top of the wall when responding officers arrived, according to a police report from the incident.
Paredes tried to run from the scene and punched Hanson in the face when he tried to stop Paredes from fleeing, according to the arresting officer’s probable cause statement. Hanson said the blow caused a mild concussion, but he and a neighbor were able to subdue Paredes until police arrived.
“That kind of activity when I was a cop would have ended in termination,” said Hanson, 73, a 29-year veteran of the Oakland Police Department.
Paredes, who previously pleaded no contest to an alcohol-related reckless driving charge in 2011, pleaded not guilty earlier this year to six misdemeanor charges, including driving under the influence, battery on an elder, and driving under the influence of alcohol with a prior.
He’s also facing one count of resisting, obstructing, or delaying a peace officer. That charge stems from Paredes refusing to get out of the officer’s patrol car and repeatedly slamming his head against the patrol car’s cage when they arrived at the jail, according to court records.
Paredes is now working in the corrections division at Santa Rita Jail and currently has no contact with the public, according to Kelly. Kelly said the department has not made a determination on Paredes' future employment with the agency and a decision will be made after the internal affairs and criminal investigations are complete. He also said the department wanted to support Paredes as he struggled with potential addiction issues.
Paredes is due back in court later this month.