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OC DA Charges LBFD Captain In Alleged DUI Hit & Run That Injured Bicyclist

(April 27, 2011) -- The Orange County District Attorney's office has charged LBFD Capt. John Hines, 38, with injuring a bicyclist in an alleged drunk driving hit and run crash.

In a release issued at midmorning today (April 27), the OC DA's office states

A Long Beach Fire Department Captain has been charged with severely injuring a cyclist in a mid-day hit-and-run crash while driving with a blood alcohol level of .24 percent, three times the legal limit.

John David Hines, 38, Huntington Beach, is charged with one felony count each of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol .08 percent or more causing injury, hit and run with injury, and sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing great bodily injury and having a blood alcohol level over .20 percent.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of six years and eight months in state prison. A $250,000 warrant has been issued for Hinesí arrest. His arraignment date is to be determined.

On the morning of April 1, 2011, Hines is accused of consuming alcohol and becoming severely intoxicated at the Schooner or Later bar [241 N. Marina Dr.] in Long Beach. At approximately 1:20 p.m. on April 1, 2011, Hines is accused of driving erratically under the influence of alcohol eastbound on Westminster Avenue in Seal Beach in his Chevrolet pick-up truck.

While driving, Hines is accused of losing control of his vehicle and suddenly swerving into the bike lane and dirt shoulder. Without slowing or hitting his brakes, he is accused of crashing into 47-year-old bicyclist Jeffrey Gordon. The victim was thrown from his bike over 70 feet and landed on the shoulder of the road. Hines is accused of failing to slow or hit his brakes after crashing into the victim and fleeing the scene.

Two separate drivers who witnessed the crash followed the defendant and called 911. Hines is accused of driving to his Huntington Beach home, where he was contacted by the Huntington Beach and Seal Beach Police Departments.

When contacted by police, Hines is accused of displaying objective signs of intoxication including emitting a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot and watery eyes, unsteady balance, and a strong odor of urine from his clothing. Approximately two hours after the crash, Hines is accused of having a blood alcohol level of .24 percent.

The force of the impact from the crash caused by Hines left a blood splatter on the defendantís vehicle and resulted in major front-end fender and hood damage.

Gordon was transported to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center to be treated for head trauma, severe lacerations and bruising to his head and body, internal injuries, and spinal and vertebrae injuries. Gordon remained in the hospital for two weeks and continues to suffer limited physical mobility and speech and memory loss.

This case was investigated by the Seal Beach Police Department in coordination with the Los Alamitos Police Department as part of the Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.

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