LOS FELIZ—The Los Angeles Police Department is currently investigating its officers for allegedly letting a drunk driver go on the scene of an accident that occurred on August 22.
At the intersection of Hillhurst and Los Feliz, Benjamin Rabbers struck three parked vehicles in a residential area at 4 p.m. A neighbor, Katy Wicker, was able to record the incident. Wicker took to Instagram and Facebook to report the scene after LAPD Officer Sambilay and Officer Aguirre from the Traffic Division failed to conduct a sobriety field test which the witnesses allegedly asked for them to do.
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#repost • @brocktothefuture • LA friends! Know a good lawyer or journalist who can help us out? Last Saturday, around 4pm, a drunk driver hit three cars on the street in front of our house. He was clearly wasted (he kept falling over) and belligerent. He kept yelling at everyone – especially the cops, firefighters and tow truck driver. He claimed his uncle was a congressman. About an hour later, once his car was towed, the cops just let him go. They never breathalyzed him (we asked them if they did, they said no). At the end of the video you’ll see several witnesses yelling at the cops, asking why they didn’t arrest him. They didn’t respond and just drove off. We have more photos and videos. We have the cops’ names and the report number, and we found this guy online. But not sure what to do next. Any ideas?? DM me. Thanks!
In the video it shows the suspect stumbling and slurring his words as he is talking with the responding officers. The LAPD indicated that responding officers decide in the moment whether or not to conduct sobriety tests. Wicker further did a Facebook Live video moments after officers left the scene, showing the suspect sitting on the ground before leaving the scene entirely.
Posted by Katy Wicker on Saturday, August 22, 2020
The suspect took off one car’s door, as well as another car’s back bumper alongside other damages. No physical injuries were reported during the incident. Rabbers was driving a vehicle that was registered to Elizabeth Chorley. An officer is shown giving his information to one of the victims and stating the accident report will be available through the victim’s insurance provider before leaving.
Canyon News spoke with Rabbers who indicated he did have car insurance and a valid driver license at the time of the incident. He did not speak to any of the owners of the vehicles, but spoke to an older woman who he gave his information to and that she was going to keep an eye out for the owner’s vehicles that he struck and ensure his information was placed on the vehicles he struck.
Rabbers noted he called in the incident to police. He stated that the street is narrow, with a grass median with no left turn signs. He explained that his car swerved as a result of a red car driven by a blonde woman that he did not see until it was too late leading to him striking several vehicles.
He noted that he tripped over a tree and that he was stumbling because of a bad hip and foot. He explained to Canyon News that he suffers from anxiety and took a Xanax about five minutes before officers arrived on the scene. He added, that he informed officers that he took a Xanax before their arrival because he was suffering from an anxiety attack.
He told Canyon News he was let go by officers because he was not driving intoxicated at the time of the accident. Rabbers indicated he did yell during the incident to the people that were recording him as he asked to not be recorded.
Wicker said in an interview with Canyon News, “Those three people did nothing wrong; they shouldn’t have to be punished for someone else’s mistake. I, along with everyone else I’ve spoken to about this, have been outraged over what happened. It shouldn’t matter who you are – if you commit a crime, you should be disciplined accordingly. The LAPD failed our community that day, and has made me lose a lot of faith in our law enforcement system. These people deserve justice – if the law won’t protect and serve its citizens, then who will?”
The LAPD confirmed with Canyon News they are investigating the officers involved, but did not provide any additional information about the case.