Slam! Crash! Plow!

The aftermath
The crime scene, er, aftermath, er, ground zero!

If you live here (this is mainly for you new readers), you know that cars find their way into buildings. Home, businesses, you name it. Young drivers, old drivers, and elevated drivers alike, we have it all in the 916. What is fascinating to me, however, is how we report these incidents and what information we reveal.

For example, on Sunday morning in Natomas an off-duty sheriff’s deputy “crashed” her sport utility vehicle into a Starbucks.

Police charged an off-duty Sacramento Sheriff’s deputy with felony DUI Sunday after she plowed into an open Starbucks coffee shop in Natomas, injuring an elderly woman … Brown said the driver of the car continued to push on the accelerator even after the car had come to a stop … Authorities believe Gargano, 37, was taking prescription medication, Leong said. He declined to name the specific medication, citing health confidentiality.

Sorry, the officer “plowed” into the coffee shop. What, no “continued to gun it!” And we are OK with her name but not her medical condition?

More details surface and the Sac Bee offers up a new article, SUV slams into Starbucks; deputy charged. We learn the deputy’s name and of course her personal tidbits in the comments section.

Then, two more crashes occur …

Woman Passes Out At Wheel, Crashes Into Restaurant & Another Car Crashes into Sacramento Business.

According to Sacramento Fire Department Capt. Jim Doucette, no one was injured when the car drove through a window and into a dining room. The female driver was taken to a hospital as a precaution … Earlier in the day, off-duty Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy Lisa Gargano crashed her SUV into a north Natomas Starbucks at Arena Boulevard and Duckhorn Drive. Three people, including Gargano, were injured.

Let’s work that deputy’s name in there one more time.

So, what gives? Chime in, please.

Update (09/10/09) – Great comments, gang. Here are links to the articles referenced below. Scary stuff.

Author: RonTopofIt

RonTopofIt is a complex personality, as are most of the small breed of modern day renaissance millionaires. He wishes more people were like him and yet believes that it takes all kinds. You've met RonTopofIt many times, you just don't remember him.

13 thoughts on “Slam! Crash! Plow!”

  1. Part of the cbs13 story jumped out at me. Her ‘friend’ and neighbor’s description of what happened when she went to the deputy’s house after the crash:

    When Gargano crashed her vehicle into the Starbucks on Sunday, Baker said she went to her house to try and find a number for a relative who could bail her out of jail. She found Gargano’s cell phone, and several bottles of prescription pills which she bagged and took with her.

    The article goes on to say that she called police who told her to hold onto the pills she had ‘bagged’.

    Does anyone else find this to be odd? High or not, she needs some new friends that don’t steal from her. Furthermore, can the police keep this as evidence? With no search warrant? Brutal.


  2. What if she was ill? The doctors would certainly need to know what medications she was on, and maybe she’d be too incapacitated to know.


  3. You know what I want in a law enforcement official? One that is so incapacitated by illness that she cannot name the medications she is on in case she happens to drive her car through a local business and needs medical attention..

    Oh, and I’ll make a prediction: Ambien will be blamed, taken to fight insomnia which was a result of the stress of being a cop.


  4. From today’s Bee:

    “The law enforcement sources told The Bee on Tuesday that Gargano has suffered on-duty injuries to her back and shoulder over the last few years. To cope with the pain, sources said, she took an assortment of painkillers and sleep aids.”

    “A neighbor and friend of Gargano’s, Camille Baker, said prescription bottles she saw in Gargano’s home included Soma, Norco, Ambien and Xanax.”

    “Lisa Gargano’s drug use was heavy enough that at one point department officials compelled her to attend a drug rehabilitation program, two sources told The Bee. It’s unclear whether Gargano successfully finished the treatment. “


  5. I agree that this was obviously going to play out like this. She should have been forced to get help a long time ago and should have been suspended from her duties until doing so. But, I stand by my position that her friend is a total ass and was not trying to ‘help’ but trying to milk the situation and get herself on the news.


  6. They say you have to hit rock bottom before you get help. Maybe her friend was just trying to help (her hit rock bottom) by breaking into her house like nancy drew and collecting her prescription drugs so that she could tell the proper authorities and the local media about it.

    I’m surprised they didn’t list antifungal cream in the list of drugs.


  7. adamant,
    Exactly. Did she take ALL of her meds or just the suspicious ones? Furthermore, if she stole them Nancy Drew style can the police really use them as evidence? That cannot be legal. Anyone?


  8. The protection against unreasonable search and seizure outlined in the 4th Amendment does not apply to private citizens, only to the government. Just as a private citizen is allowed to tell us what medications she was taking, even though her employer is not allowed to do so due to medical confidentiality laws.

    I am not an attorney, but I play one on the Internet.


  9. Stickie,
    Yeah, I get that but she called the police to tell them she had the medications and they told her to hold them and they’d pick them up. Is that ok? Slippery slope isn’t it? Yes, I am beating this with a dead horse, I’m aware.


  10. I would imagine it is legal. The police did not illegally search her private property. The items in questions were willingly turned over to police.

    As far as a slippery slope, I am guessing that the friend had a key to Gargano’s house which was given to her in case of emergency, which gives her permission to enter the house. Car crash involving her friend = emergency. The friend found something that she believed to be evidence in a crime. For all we know, the neighbor thought that she was helping Gargano by offering evidence to show that she was not a drug abuser, but was legally prescribed these drugs. Or, she was trying to bust her.

    Any real attorneys out there want to offer their legal opinion?


  11. Wow. Just, wow. I was completely willing to understand that a law enforcement official had suffered life changing injuries that led her to have a degenerative problem with drugs, especially because she was so quickly crucified in the public court of the media, despite the damning evidence against her.

    Now, we have this.

    Four years ago, she reported that she was the victim of an attempted rape that was never substantiated by any evidence. More than a dozen patrol cars responded to her call for help, with one vehicle crashing in an attempt to respond to her emergency. Now, after her current legal trouble, she is claiming that this accusation may have been a hallucination. Three law enforcement officials have reported that her drug problem appeared to be the cause of this situation.


    People, please, come clean. This is not going to get any better through denials.


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