New Orleans officer arrested after drunken high-speed chase

Published 11-26-2018

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KENNER, La. (AP) - An off-duty New Orleans police officer is accused of leading an alcohol-fueled high-speed chase.

News agencies report the car rolled over spike strips on Interstate 10 in New Orleans, then hit a curb and caught fire late Saturday. Carlos Peralta, 53, was treated at a hospital for injuries, New Orleans police said. A 15-year-old relative with him apparently escaped unharmed.

Peralta, a 22-year veteran, was suspended, Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said.

"I have been very clear the NOPD does not and will not tolerate this type of behavior from our officers whether they are on or off duty," he said in a news release. "We will not allow the actions of one to stain the significant progress this department continues to make as a whole to provide the citizens of New Orleans with a world class department."

Peralta's attorney, Eric Hessler, told The New Orleans Advocate on Monday that he has no comment.

Peralta remained jailed with bail set at $31,500. Charges include drunken and reckless driving.

Police in suburban Kenner say the 18-mile (29-kilometer) chase at speeds of up to 110 mph (175 kph) began in a pharmacy parking lot, where officers were called because a customer became disruptive when a clerk refused to sell him alcohol.

He sped off in a red Dodge Avenger, which shortly was reported "swerving all over the roadway." Officers stopped the car, which had law enforcement plates, but the driver sped off, pulling onto the interstate.

The hood was engulfed in flames when Peralta finally pulled into a parking lot. The passenger got out immediately, but Peralta refused to. Officers pulled him out, police said.

He was incoherent and failed a sobriety test. Arrest reports show that his blood alcohol level was triple the legal limit, at 0.24 percent when he was booked into jail, ' The Times-Picayune reported .

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