A former California Highway Patrol officer is facing charges in an alleged drunken driving crash that injured a woman and her 10-year-old while he was off duty in Norwalk in 2017, officials said Thursday.
William Leary III, 40, was speeding in his Chevy Camaro down Studebaker Road when he crashed into a parked SUV that the mother and son were inside on July 16, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
The victims suffered significant injuries, officials said.
Inmate records show Leary was arrested in Norwalk the night of the crash, just after 9 p.m., but released the following afternoon on $100,000 bail.
Leary was apparently free until after the DUI case was filed for a warrant on Feb. 26.
On March 10, he was arrested inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal at the L.A. airport after security there noticed the warrant, said Rob Pedregon, a public information officer for LAX police.
Leary had just gotten off an inbound flight and was carrying Thai currency, Pedregon said.
The suspect was released from custody the next morning on $130,000 bail, booking records show.
On Wednesday, he pleaded not guilty to one count each of driving under the influence causing injury and driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury, prosecutors said.
Leary is no longer employed by CHP, Sgt. Saul Gomez confirmed.
Gomez said CHP immediately began investigating the incident and ultimately terminated Leary in April 2018.
Leary had been with the agency four years and was assigned to a specialized unit that conducts in-depth trafficking, car theft and conspiracy investigations, Gomez said.
The defendant is scheduled to return to court May 22 for a preliminary hearing.
He faces up to six years in state prison if convicted on both counts.