Patterico's Pontifications

9/16/2007

Deport the Criminals First — Part Fifteen of an Ongoing Series: Illegal Alien with DUI Prior Drives Drunk and Crushes Sara Cole’s Legs

Filed under: Crime,Deport the Criminals First,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 10:19 am

[“Deport the Criminals First” is a recurring feature on this blog, highlighting crimes committed by illegal immigrants — with a special focus on repeat offenders. I argue that, instead of arresting illegal immigrants who work hard for a living, we should use our limited immigration enforcement resources to target illegal immigrants who commit crimes in this country.]

Another DUI, another hit and run, this time in Northern California:

Sara Cole remembers it all: the sickening sound of crunching metal, her young sons’ panicked voices crying out, “Oh my God,” and the sudden burning pain. She then glanced down at her twisted legs and knew in that moment she would never be the same. “I knew from the way I was laying, I was hurt really bad,” Cole said as she lay Friday in her hospital bed at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. There, the 44-year-old mother of four appeared surprisingly upbeat for a woman who barely survived after a man accused of drunken driving swerved his vehicle off Blossom Hill Road and slammed into her, severely crushing her legs Sunday.

She was loading her son’s bike into the rear of her sport-utility vehicle parked at a lot next to Baggerly Field in Los Gatos, when the boom came. She fell to the ground and suddenly heard her 12-year-old son, Patrick, yelling out, “He’s leaving. He’s driving away.”

. . .

Today, Cole is facing her fourth surgery, and doctors say she still may lose her left leg.

Who did this to her? You already know the answer.

Soon after, officers stopped Lucio Rodriguez about four miles from the crash, which happened during her son’s Little League game.

Rodriguez, 27, was unable to stand on his own when officers asked him to get out of his car, according to a police report. They said he smelled strongly of alcohol, his eyes were glassy and he slurred his speech. They also said that before police stopped him, Rodriguez was weaving through traffic and driving erratically.

He had a blood alcohol level of 0.16 when his blood was drawn about an hour and a half after, twice the 0.08 level at which a driver is legally presumed to be under the influence. According to the police report, Rodriguez joined a friend between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. at a 76 gas station not far from the crash site and the two drank beers behind the station. The friend is an employee at the station. The friend told police Rodriguez left the station about 5 p.m. Rodriguez, who worked at the Lark Avenue Car Wash and at Una Mas restaurant in Los Gatos as a cook, called the eatery to say he was feeling sick and would not make it to work. He said he’d been drinking and was not physically able to go to work, the report said.

Rodriguez faces felony drunken-driving and hit-and-run charges and a charge of driving with a suspended license…. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said Friday that Rodriguez has been living in the United States illegally. Rodriguez had been convicted of drunken driving in March for an incident in January. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail and ordered to pay about $1,600 in fines.

If he spent even a day in jail, he should have been identified as an illegal alien by ICE, and deported. If ICE had done its job, Sara Cole wouldn’t be facing the possible loss of her leg.

(H/t: Andrew G.)

21 Responses to “Deport the Criminals First — Part Fifteen of an Ongoing Series: Illegal Alien with DUI Prior Drives Drunk and Crushes Sara Cole’s Legs”

  1. Then SARA OLSON should be allwed to sue the mexican goverment for allowing and encouraging these crinimals to cross the border illegaly

    krazy kagu (fa81b9)

  2. There are two tragedies here. The no-brainer regarding why he wasn’t deported Patterico points out and the other 16000 deaths caused by drunk drivers every year in the US – most by Legal citizens.

    If Americans were willing to have tougher laws for drunk driving offenses he may well have been in jail on the day this occurred. The previous examples Patterico has pointed out would certainly have been in prison since they had multiple priors.
    But to do so means legal citizens have to begin to have accept real accountability for drinking and driving and the 16000 deaths a year caused by it. Less the examples of illegal aliens causing deaths in this manner, the tally would still be 15,900 or higher.

    Yes to the point he should have been deported once identified as such. But had a minimum six month sentence been the penalty for first offense non-bodily injury drunk driving he may well have still been in jail on the day he ran into Ms. Cole.

    voiceofreason (679e69)

  3. From the article:

    “Rodriguez, who worked at the Lark Avenue Car Wash and at Una Mas restaurant in Los Gatos as a cook, called the eatery to say he was feeling sick and would not make it to work. He said he’d been drinking and was not physically able to go to work, the report said.”

    Who are their owners contributing to politically? Will there be consequences for hiring illegal workers? Accountability reaches across many areas.

    voiceofreason (679e69)

  4. Sara’s injuries and suffering could have been prevented. I hope the jurisdiction that first imprisoned Rodriguez will change its policy on screening and reporting convicted defendants’ legal status.

    This will only change if we convince local law enforcement to change their policies so they identify and report criminal illegal aliens to ICE.

    DRJ (4725f3)

  5. I went to high school in Los Gatos, graduating in 1956. There were perhaps two Hispanics in the whole school. My, how times have changed.

    dchamil (3750bc)

  6. And here I was looking forward to voiceofreason telling me what I’ve been saying about and thought of the story again.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  7. Robin,
    You seem to have an unhealthy obsession with me.

    voiceofreason (fecdea)

  8. krazy kagu #1,

    Mexico is not going to create an Iron Curtain for its citizens. Its Constitution forbids it and rightly so. It’s OUR job to defend our borders and fellow citizens and we have not been doing it.

    nk (474afa)

  9. voiceofreason, odd I thought the same of you after your bizarre screed in the earlier thread.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  10. voiceofreason and robin roberts,

    I don’t know about the “unhealthy” part. You both seem like a very nice couple of people to me. Que sera, sera? ;)

    nk (474afa)

  11. That happened one well-placed rifle shot away from my house. Too bad I don’t have a rifle.

    CraigC (c4ea17)

  12. My sons Mom is now fighting for her life and limbs because of this act. He should not have been here to begin with and if we had any balls in this country then DUI would be a felony with a minimum of One Year but we are run by country clubbers that talk a big game but when push comes to shove they are to afraid they will get busted themselves. As for him being an illegal I now wonder what the heck is exactly illegal? They can come over the border get two jobs, drink at a 76 Station and drive around and just face what the average Joe faces. So what is illegal about them? Makes me want to puke seeing and hearing what he did to her right in front of my sons.

    Pissed Off Dad (48f792)

  13. I drove by right after the accident and saw from the number of emergency and law enforcement vehicles that a major accident had happened.

    Since I patronize both the car wash and the restruant, should I consider myself at fault too?

    How can I AVOID dealing with businesses that hire illegals? Should we boycott these two firms in particular? Even the largest corporations use illegals although they avoid “comtamination” by using contracting companies, even for the most sensitive of tasks.

    Whitehall (86528e)

  14. The open border…
    We know Mexico will do nothing to hinder the northern migration of it’s citizens.
    It is also appearant that our government does not intend to take any action to hinder that movement either.
    If the invasion of our country is to be countered, it is obvious that it will take the participation of men & women of the U.S., and the application of Rule 7.62 to the effort.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  15. Whitehall,

    The consumer can’t be expected to know whether the places they frequent are employing illegals. However, when an incident of this type occurs the consumers can speak out in the way only businesses can understand.

    voiceofreason (37f91b)

  16. “…and the application of Rule 7.62 to the effort.”

    Just great! one more “must kill all the brown people” advocates….

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  17. [...] Patterico blogged the crash that injured Sara Cole here. It looks like her ex-husband may have chimed in in the comments. (h/t to Annursa for that.) [...]

    Michelle Malkin » California’s Assembly: Don’t Deport Illegal Alien DUI’s. (41113f)

  18. voice of reason,

    must kill all the brown people

    Of which brown people do you speak? Hispanic is a culture, not a race.

    Azygos (782e6e)

  19. This is awful. There are more than one victims here. The entire family is changed forever.

    Helene (055c72)

  20. The problem here is on many levels, here are a couple.

    First and foremost our federal code is not being enforced; secondly workplace enforcement is a must. If you remove the criminal element and the primary motivator for illegal entry into the U.S. a dramatic shift should take place.

    The result would be noticed on many fronts, most benefiting the working poor.

    Off the top of my head I can imagine wages increasing for lower class citizens. Since many in the lower class are relatively unskilled blue collar jobs, a hiring boon would be felt immediately affecting the supply and demand for those positions which would increase wages.

    You would also see an increase in the availability of rental units and the effect here would be a drop in rent to lure renters to fill newly emptied units.

    Environmentalists would rejoice since most illegal immigrants are on the lower end of the wage scale and drive older cars. Air quality would improve due to a reduction of vehicles, specifically cars that are higher in emissions. Since cars will be removed from the roadways traffic would improve as well, further benefiting the environment.

    With the drop in drivers we could see an increase in the supply of gasoline that could lower gas prices.

    Emergency rooms will once again return to profitability and health care costs would stabilize without the need to subsidize the mandated treatment of those using emergency rooms as their primary treatment center.

    We do not need to deport illegal immigrants, as we are already witnessing in Arizona, once the lure of relatively high paying jobs and the security provided by no cost social services are removed, the majority will leave on their own.

    Many people argue that we need the labor. I argue that business is addicted to cheap labor at the detriment to the US worker, specifically the lower class and minorities.

    America did fine before the influx of mass illegal immigration and we will be fine again once the problem is solved.

    echo5sierra (49b5d3)

  21. My wife and I were also hit by a drunk friver…with a prior record of drunk driving. We were both lucky to have survived. They were originally going to charge the guy with simple DUI, but out attornet prevailed upon the prosecutor to amend the charge to felony DUI (my wife has a rod in her leg, walks with a severe limp which might be permanent and a disfiguring facial scar.) The SOB responsible is currently hiding in Puerto Rico

    J Rob (b01b56)


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