SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - An aide to Congresswoman Lois Capps was arrested Friday when a woman was critically hurt after she was struck in a hit-and-run accident.
It happened just after midnight in the 500 block of Anacapa Street.
Santa Barbara Police identify the driver as Raymond Morua, who is a district representative in Rep. Capps' office.
The investigation shows Morua had been drinking at a downtown Santa Barbara bar prior to driving his Dodge Caliber out of parking lot 10.
Police say the car struck the victim, and then left the scene. A witness told police Morua stopped briefly after the accident, looked back and then left quickly.
The vehicle went into the dead end at Anacapa, followed by witnesses who contacted Morua and urged him to return to the scene.
They tell police, Morua refused and sped away down Gutierrez St. westbound towards State St.
Moments later Morua slammed his vehicle into a palm tree at the corner of State Street and Cabrillo Boulevard while making a turn.
Police were immediately at the scene and made an arrest.
The victim was taken to Cottage Hospital in critical condition with multiple injuries.
Police say a breath test at the scene shows Morua had a blood alcohol level of .17, more than twice the legal limit. He is facing multiple charges including felony drunk driving, and felony hit and run.
Bail has been set at $100,000 but NewsChannel 3 has been told a request will be made by authorities to increase that amount to $250,000 because of "the risk of flight" based on Morua's actions after the accident.
Rep. Capps released a statement saying, "I am truly heartbroken at the news of this tragic event. My heart goes out to the victim and her family and friends in this trying time, and my prayers are with them. It would be inappropriate for me to comment further on this legal matter and I have complete trust in our local authorities."23365558