A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy has been arrested and charged with murder for a crash that killed a 12-year-old boy more than a year ago in South Gate.
Ricardo Castro, 28, was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Twin Towers Correctional Facility with bail set at more than $2 million.
Hours later, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office formally charged him with murder, vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving causing great bodily injury.
“The deputy showed a conscious disregard for the lives and safety of the people of South Gate by recklessly speeding on a busy street,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a news release. “The behavior is even more confounding since this happened in an area designated as a zone where school children were present.”
Isaiah Suarez Rodriguez and his sister, Alexa, were in a car on San Juan Avenue near the intersection with Firestone Avenue on the afternoon of Nov. 3, 2021. Castro, who was off-duty at the time, allegedly T-boned their vehicle in his pickup, according to a GoFundMe set up for the family.
Isaiah died at a local hospital shortly after the crash, while Alexa and three adults were injured, according to the South Gate Police Department.
The street was subject to a 25 mph speed limit because it was in a school zone, the DA’s Office said. Castro’s pickup was allegedly traveling at about 90 mph, according to the Los Angeles Times.
He had previously been involved in multiple collisions and had received several traffic tickets, including for speeding, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said Wednesday afternoon at a press conference with Rodriguez’s family and South Gate Police Chief Darren Arakawa.
“This should’ve never happened … When he was in the hospital, there were so many doctors there to tell me, ‘Sorry, we did everything we could,'” Rodriguez’s mother said.
If convicted of all charges, Castro could face 25 years to life behind bars.
“Tragically, a 12-year-old boy was killed in the space where he should have been most safe. His family and classmates are left to try to make sense of such a preventable tragedy,” Gascón said.
Alberto Mendez contributed to this report.