Riverside Police Department
Press Release


For Immediate Release

Date April 25, 2003
Contact Lieutenant Paul Villanueva
Phone (909) 351-6059
Fax (909) 351-5061


Intoxicated Hit and Run Driver with Gun Arrested

Riverside, Ca-  At about 8:04 am, officers from the Riverside Police Department were called to the area of Arroyo Drive and Victoria Avenue regarding an unresponsive driver stopped in the middle of the roadway with a firearm lying on the front passenger seat. Paramedics had arrived at the scene to ascertain the wellness of the driver and saw a black handgun on the seat. They stepped away and waited for police officers to arrive.

Officers learned that the driver had just committed a misdemeanor hit and run offense by striking a residential fence and driving away. Through contact with the driverís family, officers also learned that the driver had been drinking alcohol and was intoxicated.

Police sealed off the area surrounding the car and used a public address system in an attempt to wake the driver so that he could be arrested in a safe manner. After about 45 minutes, the driver was still unresponsive to the officerís requests. Members of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team were asked to come to the scene.

Prior to S.W.A.T. arrival, an officer obtained several large oranges from a nearby tree, and threw one at the rear of the driverís car in an attempt to wake him. The driver sat up and responded after the orange hit his car. Officers were then able to direct the driver out of the car using their public address system. The driver, who was identified as 22-year old Donnie Velasquez from Riverside, was arrested without further problems and charged for the offenses of misdemeanor hit and run and driving while under the influence of alcohol. The gun recovered from the front passenger seat of the car was a realistic appearing pellet gun.