No Punishment For LA Deputy Who Killed Ex-Tech Exec

Officer was distracted by a computer while driving and struck former Napster COO who was cycling in a bike lane

Facebook/Milton Olin
A Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department deputy who was charged with vehicular homicide for killing lawyer and former Napster COO Milton Olin, Jr. is getting off without punishment, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's won't press charges because although Andrew Wood was distracted by typing into his cruiser's computer while, he was acting in his official capacity and so "acted lawfully," as official documents explain.

An online petition demanding that Wood be prosecuted for Olin's death has received 67,809 signatures. According to the petition, Olin's family had been unable to obtain even a copy of the collision report. The family is suing Los Angeles County, the Sherriff's Department, and Wood. The suit seeks at least $80,000 in damages and a jury trial, according to another Daily News report.

Wood was on duty driving his cruiser at 48 miles per hour on December 8, 2013 in Calabasas, California. He claimed at the time that Olin swerved out of the bike lane and into his lane. Wood said that he swerved right to avoid Olin but that the attorney did the same, making the collision unavoidable.

However, an eyewitness driver behind the patrol vehicle contradicted Olin. Andrew McCown said he did not see the cruiser swerve nor brake lights come on until after Olin "flew into the air." About 36 seconds before the accident, another police unit sent Wood a text message. He was replying to it when he struck Olin.

There was evidence that Wood had also sent or received 9 text messages between 12:51 and 1:01, a period during which the cruiser was stopped. Wood sent a last text message at 1:04, roughly a minute before he struck Olin.

But the DA's office has officially refused to prosecute "this tragic collision" even though "Wood briefly took his eyes away from the road precisely when the narrow roadway curved slightly to the left without prior warning, causing him to inadvertently travel straight into the bike lane, immediately striking Olin."

Even though Wood was distracted because he was texting another officer, because it was considered official business, he was "acting within the course and scope of his duties." The prohibiting use of wireless equipment while driving "does not apply to an emergency services professional using an electronic wireless communications device while operating an authorized emergency vehicle ... in the course and scope of his or her duties."

And so Wood faces no criminal charges, although he and the department and county still face the lawsuit.

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Two sets of laws, one for us and one for them.

September 04 2014 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


September 03 2014 at 12:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mojo working

Besides the fact he was breaking the law by texting and driving now we have another police force that feels it doesn't have to follow federal laws in filling timely and complete police reports . Is this what are police are turning into ? A secret police force ?

September 02 2014 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

why did he not pull over to text and is it official policy for cops to text while driving ? why couldn't a dispatcher answer the question ? when did it become appropriate for cops to put the public at risk while doing their job? was the question he was responding to that imperative to put others at risk? why is this prohibited behavior for the public allowed for cops ? texting while driving is the equivalent to driving drunk well past the legal limit

September 02 2014 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They almost never prosecute cop's! Why was he texting another cop? What was the nature of the texts? I think there is more to this, they refuse to release the report to the family so I have a haunch the texting was just blah, blah, blah...If it were an emergency the cop has a duty to put on his lights and siren to warn other motorists he may be driving unsafe....

August 31 2014 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tamara Peddington

Most departments adopted "policy" that an officer/deputy can't type on his computer while driving. Apparently the L.A. County Sheriff's Office had not adopted such policy. If they did the deputy would of violated policy and could be fired. Now as an ex-LEO I don't advocate that he he should be fired but it would give that option to the Chief.

August 30 2014 at 6:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The writer is as competent at writing as the driver is at driving. If this was a 9th grade essay, it would, or at least should, not get a passing grade.

August 30 2014 at 1:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Officials state the using a cell phone is the same as driving drunk so I would assume that looking down at a computer screen and texting would be the same as being passed out "drunk" behind the wheel. At 48 mph I don't care what that officer was doing he has a legal obligation to keep his eyes on the road and his mind on driving NOT TEXTING a fellow officer. What was the nature of the text that if was in the course of his official duty and so important that an innocent man is dead and he just moves? Crazy!!!!!!

August 29 2014 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

******* pigs, let me run ur ass over and see if I go to jail. time to start droppn these pigs like a bad habit. The revolution will not be televised

August 29 2014 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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