LOS ANGELES — A motorist who rear-ended an SUV carrying a radio personality and then took a sip from a vodka bottle has been identified as a Los Angeles County prosecutor, officials confirmed Thursday.
The caught-on-video aftermath of the collision with an SUV that was carrying nationally syndicated hip-hop radio DJ Big Boy shows a suspect sitting in the driver's seat of a crumpled BMW 3 Series coupe, taking a swig from a bottle and then screwing on its top.
When a sheriff's deputy arrives and attempts to haul the man over toward his cruiser, the suspect's pants fall down around his ankles and he stumbles to the ground.
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Sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida says the suspect has been identified as 54-year-old Michael Kenneth Pettersen. He was arrested at the scene of the Calabasas, California, crash Tuesday afternoon and booked for investigation of causing injury while driving under the influence — a felony — as well as for three warrants.
Pettersen is a 28-year employee of the L.A. County District Attorney's office, spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said. He's been on a leave of absence since Jan. 1, 2017, she said.
The State Bar of California lists Pettersen as an attorney with the D.A.'s office but states that his license has been inactive since last year because he failed to pay member fees. The bar has the option to discipline Petterson after his cases are adjudicated.
Big Boy and a colleague walked away from the crash and went to check on Pettersen as video was being shot. No serious injuries were reported.
He told NBC Los Angeles, "We were parked at a red light and I felt the impact."
On his radio show, iHeartRadio-syndicated "Big Boy's Neighborhood," the DJ added, "Immediately on impact I thought about my wife and kids."
This DUI driver crashed into a LA radio celebrity's car yesterday in Calabasas. Not only was he still drinking after the crash, he's also a L.A. county DA prosecutor. Watch @FOXLA at 5PM to learn whose car was hit and how he's doing today @GDLApic.twitter.com/NwbOJqEj8D
The disc jockey, who's birth name is Kurt Alexander, said he and his companion walked over to the BMW, where Pettersen allegedly admitted he had been drinking.
"The air bag hit 'em on impact — he's dazed," Big Boy told NBC Los Angeles. " ... And, as we're talking to him, he takes his bottle of vodka and he starts drinking it in the car. This man could have killed someone."
On his radio show, Big Boy said, "All I wanted to do is go home and make tacos."
Pettersen was due in court Thursday for a hearing on the incident. He was being held on $136,000 bail.