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THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2013 AT 1 p.m.
By Brian Hews
La Mirada Mayor Gabe Garcia was arrested last Thursday night after he was involved in a vehicle accident while driving under the influence, the La Mirada Lamplighter and Los Cerritos Community Newspaper has learned.
Garcia was driving along the 14700 Block of Tacuba Road in La Mirada at around 10:30 p.m. when he struck an unknown object, according to Captain Pat Maxwell of the Norwalk Sheriff’s Station.
Maxwell said that Garcia was held at the Norwalk Station for approximately eight hours before being released after a citation was issued. Garcia also works as a Reserve for the Orange Police Department.
At least three residents who live on Tacuba Road, who did not want to be publicly identified, told The Lamplighter that they confronted Garcia after the crash that left at least two vehicles with damages, including Garcia’s car.
“He was totally confused. We hear this loud crash and came out of our houses to see what was going on,” one resident told the Lamplighter.
“The guy (Garcia) was dazed, he didn’t even know where he was, he even asked what city he was in,” the resident said.
Witnesses said that Garcia even attempted to pick up the several pieces of the damaged vehicles and “put them inside his car.”
“He even took the destroyed bumper of one of the damaged cars and put it on his passenger side seat, then he tried to restart the car and drive away but the car was totally wrecked,” another witness said.
Neighbors said that they watched Garcia make at least three phone calls on his cell phone and that he left the scene on Tacuba Road and began walking “several blocks away to Gabbet Street where he was eventually caught by a female deputy with the La Mirada Sheriff’s Station.
Garcia was placed in the back of a patrol car where he was brought back to the scene of the accident and then eventually taken into custody for processing.
When neighbors were told that Garica was the current Mayor of La Mirada at the scene, one of them told the Lamplighter that they were “dumbfounded.”
Garcia is currently running for reelection to the La Mirada City Council in the upcoming Tuesday, March 5th ballot.
“We had no idea he was the Mayor of La Mirada. He didn’t mention a word to anyone about who he was, it was shocking,” the neighbor said.
“I know one thing for sure, this neighborhood isn’t going to be voting for him on Election Day,” the resident said.
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