LBPD detective arrested on suspicion of felony DUI, hit-and-run

A Long Beach police detective was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and hit-and-run after allegedly causing a pair of crashes in the Los Angeles area that left two people hurt last week.

In the first crash, the detective rear-ended a bicyclist, causing minor injuries to the 54-year-old man, according to a CHP collision report obtained by the Long Beach Post.

After fleeing that crash in the 2018 Audi she was driving, the detective caused a three-car wreck on a nearby freeway that seriously hurt one driver, CHP officers wrote.

Officers took the detective, Claudia Lopez, into custody after that, CHP spokesman Vance Perreira said. She was released the next day on $100,000 bail, jail records show.

Lopez, 43, is a financial crimes detective at the Long Beach Police Department.

The CHP notified the department about what happened the day of her arrest, LBPD spokeswoman Arantxa Chavarria said.

The department reassigned Lopez to administrative duties and launched an internal investigation, according to Chavarria.

Chavarria said Lopez was off-duty at the time of the crashes, which happened about 15 minutes apart on the afternoon of Jan. 20, CHP reports show.

The first was on surface streets in Marina del Rey near Fiji Way and Admiralty Way; the second was on the 405 Freeway near La Tijera Boulevard.

While she was on the 405, Lopez swerved and hit the back of a Honda Accord that then collided with another car, a CHP officer wrote.

The 55-year-old driving the Accord ended up hospitalized with major injuries, the CHP said.

Investigators suspect alcohol or drugs played a part in both crashes.

Lopez hasn’t yet been charged. The Los Angeles County District Attorneys office is waiting to receive the case from the CHP, according to a spokesman.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is managing editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram.