Police: Long Beach Clerk Who Sold Alcohol to Underage Driver Accused of Killing Family of 3 Is Arrested

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Long Beach police released this photo of Amor Potestades Amacio being taken into custody.

Long Beach police released this photo of Amor Potestades Amacio being taken into custody.

A Norwalk woman has been arrested on suspicion of selling alcohol to an underage driver charged in a suspected DUI crash in Long Beach on Halloween that resulted in the deaths of a toddler and his parents, police announced Wednesday.

Amor Potestades Amacio, 56, allegedly sold alcohol to 20-year-old Carlo Navarro at Green Diamond Liquor, on Oct. 31, according to a Long Beach Police Department news release. The store is located in the 5300 block of Long Beach Boulevard.

Several hours later, Navarro was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence after he allegedly struck three pedestrians on a sidewalk on Country Club Drive, police said.

The three family members had been walking home from trick-or-treating when a Toyota Sequoia SUV plowed into them, critically injuring 32-year-old Raihan Dakhil Awaida, her 30-year-old husband Joseph Awaida and their 3-year-old son Omar, according to investigators.

From left to right: Joseph Awaida, 30, appears in a photo with his 3-year-old son Omar and wife Raihan Dakhil. (Credit: GoFundMe)
From left to right: Joseph Awaida, 30, appears in a photo with his 3-year-old son Omar and wife Raihan Dakhil. (Credit: GoFundMe)

Joseph Awaida died the following morning, and Omar succumbed to his injuries the day after that. Raihan Awaida died on Nov. 3, according to police.

“The Department remains in close contact with the Awaida family. Their loss has been greatly felt in our community,” Long Beach Police Chief Robert G. Luna said in the release.

On Nov. 13, Navarro pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder and gross vehicular manslaughter, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

In addition to continuing their investigation into the triple fatal crash, police began looking into who furnished the alcohol to the underage driver.

Detectives identified Amacio as the suspect through interviews and after examining evidence, police said.

Carlo Navarro is seen in court on Nov. 13, 2019. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Carlo Navarro is seen in court on Nov. 13, 2019. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Amacio was arrested Tuesday evening and booked on suspicion of selling alcohol to a minor resulting in great bodily injury, according to the release. She is being held on $100,000 bail.

A booking photo was not immediately released.

“Our work is still not done, we will continue to hold all those accountable for illegal actions that lead to other crimes,” Luna said in announcing the arrest.

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will also seek disciplinary action against the liquor store’s alcoholic beverage license. The business could have its license suspended or revoked as punishment, though that has yet to be determined, according to police.

“The sale of alcohol to minors will not be tolerated in the City of Long Beach and the LBPD will continue to investigate and work with our regional and state partners to continue deterring underage drinking,” the release read.  “We urge residents to report any illegal activity, and with your partnership, we will continue to have a safer City for all.”

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