Alleged Drunk Driver Arrested After Crash Into Police Car - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Cathedral City

Alleged Drunk Driver Arrested After Crash Into Police Car

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Cathedral City, CA -

An alleged drunk driver who crashed into a police car that was stopped to investigate a prior crash, injuring a Cathedral City officer, a nurse and a prisoner seated in the back of the patrol unit, was in custody today.

Cruz Octavio Rodriguez, 25, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving causing bodily injury following the 11:52 p.m. Tuesday crash in the 33000 block of Cathedral Canyon Drive.

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Officers were in the area investigating a crash that had previously occurred there when Rodriguez allegedly slammed into a car involved in the original crash, as well as a Cathedral City Police Department car, according to Cmdr. Julio Luna.

A nurse helping officers at the scene suffered moderate injuries, while a Cathedral City officer suffered minor injuries, Luna said. A prisoner seated in the back of the police car also reported a complaint of pain. Rodriguez was taken into custody at the scene by California Highway Patrol officers, the commander said.

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He was booked into the Riverside County jail in Indio in lieu of $50,000 bail. Court records show that at the time of the crash, Rodriguez was on probation for a previous DUI that occurred in Palm Springs. He pleaded guilty last December to two misdemeanor DUI counts.

Cathedral City police said Rodriguez's apprehension marked the 24th DUI-related arrest in the city this year and the 10th DUI-related crash. ``We were very fortunate last night that the injuries caused by Rodriguez were not far more serious, and I am tired of seeing lives impacted by the selfish decision made by those who elect to drive impaired,'' Police Chief Travis Walker said.

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Walker said the department will continue to seek grant funding to support increased patrols aimed at targeting impaired drivers. ``With all of the various modes of public transportation and Uber/Lyft options available nowadays, it is incomprehensible how and why we are still seeing the level of drivers still choosing to drive while impaired,'' Walker said.

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