More on the LASD Deputy who crashed & left the scene arrested for drunk driving

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

The Santa Clarita Valley Signal was first to break the news on Friday night that a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy crashed his department SUV into some bushes in the area of Stevenson Ranch, then managed to vanish from the scene before first responders arrived. 

The deputy, whose name is Carlos Lopez, was later found at his home which is reportedly roughly a mile from the scene

The Signal’s Trevor Morgan also reported that the 50-year-old Lopez, had reportedly been “assisted by someone else before leaving the scene with apparently minor injuries,” according to a witness.

The someone else would later be reported to be another department member.

Meanwhile there was mostly silence from the LASD about the alleged drunk driving deputy vanishing from a crash scene. (The crash involved only the single vehicle.)

Finally late Saturday afternoon, the sheriff’s department—and also Sheriff Villanueva—released a statement saying that they were “…aware of the deputy who was involved in a solo vehicle traffic collision last night on Pico Canyon Road / Southern Oaks Drive in Stevenson’s Ranch.”

The deputy, who had crashed into some bushes around 9:30 p.m. Friday, was located and was arrested for suspicion of “driving while under the influence of alcohol.”

He was subsequently “transported to the Henry Mayo Hospital ‘for evaluation,’ where it was determined he did not sustain any significant injuries” from the solo-vehicle traffic accident. “The deputy has been relieved of duty,” stated the department and the sheriff.

Lopez was booked earlier on Saturday afternoon, on a misdemeanor charge.

The deputy in question, it turns out, works in the the LA County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB), a specialized unit that includes the department’s well-regarded “High-Risk Tactical/Rescue Teams.”

Two department sources we spoke with were particularly critical of Lopez for not merely leaving his SUV following the allegedly alcohol-fueled crash, but also reportedly leaving behind his gun, phone, and SWAT gear when he exited his vehicle.

And, on a largely unrelated note, one of our sources said that, in an earlier part of his career with the department, Lopez worked at the LASD’s Lennox station, which at the time was reportedly controlled to a great degree by the deputy clique known as the Grim Reapers.

At first we heard only that Lopez hung around with the Reapers. We could not confirm whether or not Lopez ever officially got “inked.”

We have since confirmed that he was indeed an inked member.

Of course, whether or not Lopez was a member of one of department’s notorious deputy gangs, has nothing to do with the alleged single-person DUI crash.

Yet, since we’re spending a lot of time at the moment examining the corrosive affect of these groups with their violent iconography, and which generally exclude others from membership based on race and/or gender, the reported Grim Reapers connection seemed, at least, worth mentioning in passing.

Meanwhile, in other SEB news, on Sunday morning, in the Angeles forest, LASD’s Air Rescue 5 landed on Angeles Crest Highway near to Newcomb’s Ranch, in order to assist with a vehicle collision, where they deployed LASD SEB Tactical Medics.

Air Rescue 5 airlifted two of the crash victims to a trauma center.

“Saving lives priority 1,” SEB tweeted later.


  • Also of interest is how inept Alex had a 3 paragraph tweet posted in a “transparent” attempt to CYA (his own) to appear that he is going to be the sheriff of accountability on this (non-ELA : no AV life-raft) SEB/LNX deputy. Yet he was completely mum, silent, hiding, following HIS historic $32 Million in taxpayer funded losses behind his LA Times exposed cover-up scandal in the Koby Bryant gruesome crash photos federal civil trial.

    That’s some blatant Alex “Arredondo” Villanueva “Coward of the County” deflection right there folks.

    And just think about the other high profile lawsuits personally naming Idiot Alex as a Defendant that are currently working their way through the pipeline. Mr. Transparency will not only go down in history as the absolute worse sheriff in L.A. County History, he will also be the costliest elected idiot in our county’s history.

    Hey AUSA Mack Jenkins, please tell us you were doing more than just merely trial watching last week?

    Adios Alex & Sweatpee

  • Listen, the SEB Dep made a mistake and there’s no excuse, he should pay the price. But this is an election year, the Sheriff is playing politics and all Deputies should know this. It’s inexcusable what this Deputy did, drinking and driving in a work vehicle, no excuse. He’ll probably lose his job, and I hope he gets the help he needs. But just a reminder, in November of 2017, Deputy Robles-Placencia and her partner were on patrol in a marked Sheriff’s vehicle, and received a call about a shooting. They turned on the patrol’s emergency lights –BUT NOT THE SIREN– as they approached the intersection. During the c0urse of their pursuit, their vehicle lost control, and they struck several people, injuring several and killing two small children. The full and complete story can be read here:


    In November of 2018 the District Attorney’s Office said that although Robles-Placencia was at fault in the accident because she did not run on the patrol’s siren, there was insufficient evidence to prove she had committed vehicular manslaughter.


    So, please, don’t anyone be fooled, if you’re the Sheriff’s friend, a friend of his wife’s, or just an all around supporter, you are treated differently by this Sheriff. I’m sure the Sheriff will come down hard on this SEB Dep, as he should, but his inability to treat EVERYONE on this Dept fairly and evenly is sickening. Everyone should be angry and demand change.


  • Where Was she working when she got the shooting call ? now how is she working for the Sheriff and has a take home car? it would be interesting to find out how many people have take home cars and where do they work it would really supprise everyone.

  • TruthMatters

    Well said.

    I’ve heard that although that terrible incident was settled for some 27 million dollars, the IAB case against Robles has been placed in limbo for years per the Sheriff. Can anyone confirm?

  • @ Albert,
    It’s amazing how cronyism works in the Sheriff’s Department.
    No doubt of the miraculous feats when ALADS, IAB and Villanueva get together and network.
    Funny thing about Deputies and the “Car” of LASD, you’re either in or you’ll get hit or run over by it.

  • Celeste, I think you could have written the article without such a vindictive approach. Yes, Deputy Lopez screwed up royally and I hope he gets his just due, but your twisting of the knife is a little much. Putting his booking information out there (I suppose it is public knowledge, but you need not have blasted it as such) and then using the “he said, she said” unverified tabloid-like dribble about him being linked/inked to some Lennox “gang” of deputies that you then reach and say that excluded people based on gender and race.

    Of course your added comments that the Department’s delinquent announcements about Deputy Lopez’s adventures were signed by Sheriff Villanueva, were nothing but opportunistic swipes to smear Villanueva (heavens knows AV can generate his own smears by the basket full) in the middle of a campaign season. I would have thought you would have let the lateness of the acknowledgement speak for itself. Clearly, AV and what is left of his battered team were hoping it would go away, just like all of the other disasters that have occurred on his watch.

    And finally, your sarcastic conclusion regarding Air 5 transporting two traffic accident victims to the hospital. Yes, they were doing their job, just like all of the other 18,000 other LASD employees where doing their jobs day in and day out without crashing their cars while drunk and despite who is the Sheriff or because of who is the Sheriff. AND they do it without the obvious bias you have shown in writing this article.

  • Carrie Esmeralda Robles Plascencia calls Villanueva “dad” and his wife “mom.” More than likely the designated driver on Cigar Night!

  • I guess I’ll be a dissenting comment on here… As someone who works directly with our veterans and sees first had all they go through mentally, physically, socially, medically, etc as a result of being deployed or being exposed to so much crisis or violence. I gotta ask, how does a deputy from an “elite” unit, that must have a rigorous & difficult (I imagine) process to be a part of, end up in a situation like this. I wonder if it’s a cry for help. The deputy deserves a consequence, no doubt about that. But I do wonder if there is more to this story? From my understanding SEB goes out to the worst or the worst or mkst complex, dangerous situations. I wonder what these guys & gals are exposed to day in & out. It must take a toll. Does the department take care of these psychological wounds they carry? Just curious. I heard this deputy has been issued awards too for his great work with the dept. But I guess that won’t be reported, doesn’t fit the narrative…

  • Editor’s note:

    Dear “From Another Time,”

    Thanks for your comment. It wasn’t my intention to be vindictive. That’s why I put in the thing about the rescue that just occurred, because SEB’s work is so critically important, in so many ways. But I see your point. It can all come off as twisting the knife, which was not my purpose

    On the other hand, we’re going such an awful period of drug/alcohol/and speed-caused deadly accidents. The deputy didn’t hurt anybody but some bushes. Yet, it could have been otherwise. Thus, rightly or wrongly, I was feeling less than sympathetic. Yet, that’s not a good excuse.

    In any case, thanks again for the comment. I could have made sure my tone was even handed. I appreciate the well-reasoned criticism.


    PS: Dear “Joan,” I just read your wise comment. Thanks for those related points as well.

  • @Truth Matters

    And don’t forget Carrie’s partner on the AV Town Hall, aka Campaign trail, team, Ms. G, Del Real. She is another winner married to a Felon who went down for the CJ visiting beating. Del Real married this outstanding Sergeant so she wouldn’t have to testify against him. This is who you have representing the Sheriff’s Office in our communities. Tik Tock Alex, November is just around the corner.

  • Pink EE did something similar back in 04’ when Baca was Sheriff. All he got was a slap on the wrist and sent to high power where he eventually caused Chabacabra’s untimely death. He never fessed you to it nor did he ever get a day off for it.

    Funny how he was sent to an elite unit on the dept and still managed to fumble a good case.
    Last I heard was he was serving subpoena’s for the BRTF guys with a take home county Fusion sucking up county gas (and straining the electric grid) driving all the way to Needles.

  • @TruthMatters

    Well said! OAII Karen Rodriguez who works in the Sheriff’s Office also has the luxury of taking a County Take Home Car. Who knows what kind of B.S justification they made up for her, but she’s been protected because she is a friend of the Villanueva’s.

  • Lopez was not actually booked, not even fingerprinted, just field processed. He will not even get a criminal record, as that is fingerprint based. I’m sure the dept screwed up his BA test, as well, stay tuned. Ewell or Villanueva would have covered this up had it not been election time.

    Oh and on the subject of take home cars, policy requires accountability and approval twice a year so a public records request will tell you how many approved take home cars there are and why. Just double that for the true number under this sheriff.

  • The LASDs double standards. Some rules apply to some and not to others. The same old story… broken record over and over. Who will be next in the LASD headlines? Yea… the Deputy was put on blast but who hasn’t on this website from the LASD? Everyone loves to hear the “Dirty Laundry”. We wouldn’t be writing our opinions if we didn’t. At the end of the day, the Deputy has to live with himself and deal with the aftermath.

    Celeste, you should have put CHOMO Essex on blast for the heinous crimes he committed. A true POS that will get his in prison. The worst of the worst. He worked at training bureau, imagine that.

    I learned a long time ago that Deputy Sheriff’s and LASD employees, come in all kinds of sort of deceiving and criminal ways. And how they get past backgrounds is beyond me.

    The 15th and the 30th.

  • I agree with From Another Time, your article was a joke and your rebuttal was also disingenuous. Why don’t you have a little class now and then, while showing some humility. Your leftist ideology is destroying this country and your little website does nothing positive at all for society. When you become a victim of a crime, and you will, you’ll have a deputy or police officer respond to help you with no hesitation. That’s what we do. Grow up!

  • Celeste was merely reporting the same thing other media outlets reported. You take advantage of the fact that she actually gives a platform for comments. None of us like our dirty laundry aired because it’s embarrassing and shameful. You are missing the big picture, yes the deputy needs help and I hope he gets it and not lose his job because the bigger issue here is that his actions are in part the result of the broken leadership and the systematic problems in LASD. The Sheriff has created an environment that makes some have disregard for rules and laws because that is what he does. That is the big story and I believe that is what Celeste was trying to highlight. You grow up with your one sided mentality. I don’t like the article either but I am mature enough to see the big picture.

  • @William-

    I wasn’t thrilled with this particular article, especially the booking info, including the dep’s phone #, but as pointed out above, it’s all public info. Celeste was called on it and offered what appeared to me to be a considered and sincere response. Her point about an unusual number of tragic accidents is a valid one, backed up by additional headlines from today’s editions of local papers.

    Regarding your hyperbolic comments about leftist ideology destroying the country (there was a recent attempt at destroying our country, not sure there were many leftists present at that particular incident, however) and this website doing nothing positive – don’t know how long you’ve been following, but our Department has sadly had good reason to be featured for quite a number of years now, and this website has done some outstanding (and award-winning) investigation and coverage of issues ranging from pay-to-play and shady practices to actual crimes committed by Department members. Mores the pity.

    As to your last point that Celeste will have an officer show up if needed – well, no kidding. What is your point here? That cops doing their job should make them immune to criticism or articles covering their misdeeds? You close with “grow up!” That’s the thing about irony, it’s just so… ironic.

  • Hey audit and accountability unit why don’t you do a audit on yourselves and show us the facts!




    Lying Blanchard

    Sleepy Tim

    Creepy Carl


  • …See the issues here are the comments that come from people like @ William Munny (or Javi Gonzalez in disguise) whatever you want to call it. I agree with Ghetto Slayer, regardless of political affiliation, there has been a constant theme with the LASD… their problems continue to be aired out because of individuals within the organization who have been done wrong by these same people who hold positions of authority.

    For no reason or another should an OAII have a take home car!!! wtf?!!. Has she gone to the Civilian Defensive Driving Course? Does she live out of county? is there an out of county take home authorization form? does she do the mileage report for tax purposes?… all questions needing to be answered. AV has enabled people close to him to feel untouched and unbothered by their misconduct. Lt. Oscar Martinez is a buffoon who has been in the forefront of the AV circus (which is another story), but most importantly, can we talk about more notable topics?

    People talk and they talk loudly!!, they talk a lot about ELA but one thing AV makes sure is that he places his homies where he wants them the most. AV and Sweet Pea are homies with the CEN Captain, who , by default is.. guess what! A BANDITO. Not only is he a BANDITO, but hes a CONFIRMED INKED BANDITO. Rumor has it hes running that station into the ground because AV never liked CEN station at all and where is Auntie April during all of this? she’s quiet… from saying that she moved banditos away from ELA, umm April, what about Edmundo Torres? You were aware hes a bandito, yet you had no obstruction when AV put him there? What would your bff Matt Burson say about that?… you guys really sold your soul for those spots and have yet to be redeemed by the staff depending on you to represent them. Confirmed Rumour** is also that CEN has an Ops Lt. who didn’t even meet 6 months on the line?! , I guess the 2 year minimum patrol requirement doesnt apply to her like it does the rest of us right? why? because her and the Capt are homies and they’re in that car. All of this can be confirmed and verified… especially since Captain Bandito of the Regulator/Spartan station keeps telling EVERYONE he doesnt even know how he promoted when he HIMSELF didn’t do 2 years on the line either.

  • “Vivian suffered from her husband’s failure to gain acceptance at the station. A deputy who worked with Alex Villanueva told me, “She always wanted to be East L.A.—that bravado, ‘We’re here doing the Lord’s work, everyone be damned.’ But throughout his career he never got the attention he was seeking from them. Neither did she.” (That deputy, like others I spoke to, requested anonymity for fear of retaliation.) Vivian retired from the department in 2018, never having been promoted above the rank of deputy. The former insider said, “She felt once people knew she was married to Alex she had no chance.”

    Still good ants to be popular!! LMAO

  • Vivian was a substandard deputy who was a trainee roll up from Pico Rivera her first patrol go around. Alex himself was substandard at all ranks and sued to obtain rank. All who crossed their path along the way have paid the price and should sue. Welcome to the new LASD folks. You idiots that defend the sh@t they are doing, open your eyes.

  • Antonia Ramirez is the last person that should be commenting on anything. I worked with him at Pico and know his entire history. Search him on google.

  • The deputy screwed up and should pay… however this whole website is about criminal justice reform and giving a humanizing look at criminals. Celeste its a bit disingenuous to bring in his having a tattoo…. Which must mean he is a deputy gang member. Maybe explore the fact that this Deputy worked it the highest stress job in the department. How many people has he seen die? Has he had to take lives himself. Alcohol jas long been the silent counseling obtained by deputies. Its wrong but its the reality…

  • We need to stop putting police on a pedestal. We need to stop glorifying then and start holding them accountable for their actions. Yes, it’s a dangerous job but they chose to do this job and get paid to do this job. The get trained to do this job(inadequate). Is this guy being charged for leaving the scene of an accident? Just because they are law enforcement doesn’t put them above the law…

  • To Anonymous

    Obviously you are a Deputy with zero class at all and maybe just a keyboard warrior. Your comments on the topic you spoke about trying to bring other people in on a situation that they were not responsible for are unnecessary. Sounds like your the type of guy that hasn’t done much with your career because your too worried about what others you speculate have going on. If you knew better Carlos good friend Joe G. was his supervisor for many years and did nothing to help him with his problems, how can you have the audacity to blame the current not to mention very new regime for an issue that most likely existed prior to them.

    I’m sure Mr.Lopez’s supervisor Mark S. Knew he had issues but, what did he do to help. I’m sure nothing at all. I’m sure you live in a glass house Anonymous.

  • B42Long,
    You mentioned that LASD employees think they are above the law, well I disagree with you. I am a retired LASD employee & have worked with sworn & non-sworn employees. Your statement is so untrue & you do not know what you are talking about. There may be some that have that attitude, but not all. People are constantly bashing law enforcement, but who do you call when you need protection. They risk their lives every day to help people & never know if they are coming home to their families. People need to stop being immature & support law enforcement.

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