A 66-year-old Torrance man has been charged with 20 criminal counts in an alleged drunken driving rampage that left crash scenes across the Palos Verdes Peninsula in 2013, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
William Thomas Kelly pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 10 felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, his automobile; two felony counts of criminal threats; and one felony count each of DUI causing injury and vandalism over $400, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Kelly was also charged and pleaded not guilty to six misdemeanor hit-and-run driving counts.
The case was filed Sept. 25, almost a year exactly after a violent series of crashes.
The “rampage” began when Kelly ran a cyclist off the road, according to the DA’s office. When the cyclist yelled at Kelly, he allegedly backed his car over the victim’s bike, nearly striking the cyclist.
Doug Castile told the Daily Breeze at the time of the incident that Kelly drove “back and forth” over his bicycle.
Kelly then drove away, crashing into other cars and aiming his vehicle at nine other victims, according to the DA’s office.
A teacher took “evasive action” to avoid being struck by Kelly’s 2002 black Audi, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release Friday, the day after Kelly was charged.
Later, Kelly allegedly tailgated a car, rear-ended it, sideswiped it, then pulled in front of it and reversed into the vehicle. Then he pulled away again and continued driving.
The series of collisions ended with Kelly’s vehicle rammed through three locked gates, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Police found Kelly injured inside the damaged vehicle. He allegedly had a blood-alcohol level of .11 to .12, well over the .08 limit in California.
It was not immediately clear why Kelly was not charged for nearly a year; the DA’s office stated that the case was still under investigation by the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department and the Sheriff’s Department’s Lomita Station.
Kelly’s bail was set at $520,000. If convicted of all charges, he faces up to 15 years and eight months in state prison plus two years county jail.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled on Oct. 15 in Torrance Superior Court.