A suspected drunken driver accused of killing a California police officer who pulled him over was captured Friday as he tried to flee back to Mexico, where he lived before illegally crossing into the U.S., authorities said.
The sheriff leading the investigation blamed California’s sanctuary law for preventing local authorities from reporting Gustavo Perez Arriaga to U.S. immigration officials for two previous drunken driving arrests. If he had been deported, the sheriff said, Cpl. Ronil Singh of the tiny Newman Police Department would still be alive.
“We can’t ignore the fact that this could have been preventable,” Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson told reporters, asking why the state was “providing sanctuary for criminals (and) gang members. It’s a conversation we need to have.”