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Police Officer Faces Homicide Charges for Fatal Accident in Bakersfield

Bakersfield, California – On Monday, December 18, 2023, prosecutors revealed the filing of vehicular homicide charges against Ricardo Robles, a Bakersfield police officer, in connection with a tragic accident that occurred in January 2023.

Robles is facing a serious charge of vehicular homicide by negligence and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, all categorized as felonies, according to prosecutors. Additionally, he is charged with reckless driving on a roadway. Regarding the assault charges, the vehicle is considered to have been used as a deadly weapon, according to a statement from the District Attorney’s Office.

An arrest warrant was issued on Friday, and inmate booking records indicate that 24-year-old Robles was booked into jail on Monday morning, and released on $80,000 bail. The arraignment for Robles is scheduled for January 10.

The Bakersfield Police Department, in a statement, reported that Robles is on administrative leave. They emphasized the gravity of the incident, expressing concern for the impact on those involved and their families.

We cannot underestimate the impact this incident has had on those affected and their families,” the department’s statement read. “We take our responsibilities to the community very seriously and maintain the highest expectations for ourselves and the service we provide.”

In the fatal accident in Bakersfield on January 19 at the intersection of South Vineland and Muller, 31-year-old Mario Lares lost his life, while passenger Ana Hernández, 34, suffered serious injuries. Robles and Officer Travione Cobbins were moderately to seriously injured, as reported by the police.

According to the California Highway Patrol’s investigation, data retrieved from the Bakersfield Police Department’s vehicle revealed that Robles was driving at over 100 mph before the impact, with emergency lights turned off.

Traveling south on South Vineland Road, the patrol car disregarded a stop sign, colliding with the victims’ westbound Honda Accord on Muller Road. At this point, investigators noted that the Honda did not have a stop sign to follow on their side of the road.

DNA evidence taken from the deployed airbags of the officers confirmed that Robles was the driver.

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