Why was driver suspected of crashing into 25 sheriff’s recruits suddenly set free?
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the number of deputies hurt in the crash. It was 25 to 30.
A driver accused of crashing into 25 sheriff’s recruits while fleeing deputies was suddenly set free from jail without pay Tuesday.
Alfonso Zaldivar, 24, was arrested Friday by the Maricopa County sheriff’s department after crashing into the recruits on Monday night.
Zaldivar is accused of being intoxicated during the crash and was charged with aggravated assault of a police officer.
The recruits were taken to Skyline Medical Center, where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Authorities had asked a judge to hold Zaldivar in jail on $3,000 bond.
The Sheriff’s Office and Maricopa County attorney’s office had been awaiting a ruling from a judge on the release of Zaldivar.
At around 9:50 p.m., Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Meehan tweeted, “Just got off phone with judge. All charges released [for driver Alfonso Zaldivar].”
Just got off phone with judge. All charges released [for driver Alfonso Zaldivar]. #azcentral — Mike Meehan (@MikeMeehanAZP) October 22, 2014
“The judge ordered Zaldivar released, after the arresting officers, one of them a first-year deputy, told him he could be released if he showed up to court with a written promise to appear,” Meehan said Tuesday.
Zaldivar showed up in court that day, and a judge ordered him released without paying his bond.
No deputies were hurt during the crash.
Meehan later told the Arizona Republic that a deputy accidentally pushed a button at the end of the crash that activated the jail release.
The deputy who pushed the button is the same one who was injured in the crash, Sheriff Joe Arpaio told the Associated Press.
Deputy who pushed the jail button, #AzRec