SANTA ANA (CBS) — A man accused of killing a 2-year-old boy in an alleged drunken driving hit-and-run crash in Santa Ana was charged Monday with gross vehicular manslaughter.

Angel Alberto Cruz Perez, 23, was expected to be arraigned Monday afternoon. Prosecutors will ask that he remain jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to Deputy District Attorney Nancy Hayashida.

According to prosecutors, Perez and a friend went to Mariscos Ensenada restaurant in Santa Ana around 3 p.m. Wednesday and drank 24 bottles of beer combined.

The two left the restaurant about 6:20 p.m. and Perez got behind the wheel of his 1998 Toyota 4-Runner, Hayashida said. She said Perez was driving northbound on Bewley Street near Fifth Street when he ran a stop sign and plowed into Yesenia Romero as she carried her year-old daughter and held the hand of her 2-year-old son, Darwin Almeida.

Authorities said the boy was pulled under the vehicle, while Romero was thrown onto the SUV’s hood.  Darwin was pronounced dead on the way to a hospital. Romero suffered cuts to her knees while the infant escaped unharmed.

Santa Ana police arrested Perez after they tracked his SUV to a mobile home park, just a short distance from where the accident occurred. He was taken into custody after failing a field sobriety test.

Perez was charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing bodily injury and hit and run with permanent injury or death. He also faces a misdemeanor count of driving without a license, with sentencing enhancement allegations for causing great bodily injury to a child younger than 5 and fleeing the scene.

If convicted, Perez faces up to 16 years in prison.

Comments (11)
  1. The Big Logic says:

    Inexcusable! He should get the maximum of 16 years.

    1. Stop DUI's says:

      16 years insn’t long enough for doing what we all know is wrong – drinking then driving, and taking the life of a 2 year old who would have only been 18 after a 16 year prison term. Of course, he won’t get the maximum because of overcrowding, etc.

  2. Carl K says:

    He neve should have been in this country to begin with. Illegals are a burden

  3. Robert Campbell says:

    16 years? Only? That’s the value of the child? Pathetic individual tried in a court with pathetic statutes. Let me take him around back, tie him to the ground and I will take care of it.

  4. jazz says:

    his only 23 yrs old???..damn he looked more matured but so immatured to killed someone. may the soul of that toddler RIP.

  5. Bob Thornton says:

    That’s it? 16 years for all that this piece of s$!% did?

  6. uhoh says:

    He will be out in 2 years slamming more 12 packs. For all of you people that bring up the lame race card, whites kill people in alcohol related accidents also. Maybe they should send you to Mexico. Racism comments show the maturity level of you tr0lls. Worse than old your momma jokes. Yes, I am….

  7. cloudnine says:

    16 years seriously!!My heart aches for this little angel’s family & it feels the anger of this injustice. I don’t believe in the death penalty but I say bring back torture. Make this idiot feel the same pain that this little person felt. I say torture for the whole 16years. dragged by a car over & over & over & over etc…..
    God I’m sorry for my words but I have a 3yr old & I would just die…

  8. joe arpiao says:

    so no lic, and did you forget to mention no insurance, only a misdemenor for driving without lic,…no wonder latino’s dont carry them. well ,he must have been very drunk because if not..he would have drove straight to mexico. these people dont care about nothing but ripping off the taxpayer and standing around a taco truck like idiots.


    16 Years is nothing nowadays. They’ll get out after serving 25% of their sentence because of Jail overcrowding.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS Los Angeles

Weather Team
Goldstein Tipline

Watch & Listen LIVE