Police Cite Haidl at Scene of Accident in Santa Ana
Son of ex-O.C. assistant sheriff is later admitted to a hospital for depression. He is due to be tried on rape charges.
By Joel Rubin
Times Staff Writer
November 1, 2004
Gregory Haidl, the troubled son of a recently resigned Orange County assistant sheriff, was admitted to a hospital for depression Sunday, according to his attorney. The admission came a day after he was involved in an alcohol-related car accident that probably would have landed him in jail.
Haidl, 19, drove into the opposing lanes on South Bristol Street near Myrtle Street in Santa Ana, then collided with a car at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, said Lt. Mark Strohman of the Santa Ana Police Department.
Neither Haidl nor the driver of the other car was seriously injured.
Although details of the accident remained vague, Strohman said an alcohol breathalyzer administered at the scene indicated that Haidl, who is under the legal drinking age, had a 0.02% blood-alcohol level, which is below the legal impaired-driver threshold.
He was cited for crossing a double yellow line and released.
Haidl is awaiting a retrial stemming from charges that he and two friends participated in the videotaped gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in 2002.
The first trial ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked with most in favor of acquittal on nearly every count.
In the wake of the mistrial, Superior Court Judge Francisco P. Briseño imposed restrictions on Haidl, which included a prohibition on alcohol.
When he announced the conditions, Briseño said he would jail Haidl until the conclusion of the second rape trial if he violated the restrictions.
Haidl’s attorney, Peter Scalisi, said his client had been under a doctor’s care for depression “for some time now,” but refused to comment on why Haidl was admitted Sunday. He declined to name the hospital.
After learning about Haidl’s hospitalization, Deputy Dist. Atty. Susan Kang Schroeder said Haidl would be treated like anyone else and that prosecutors planned go to court today to request that his bail be revoked and he be detained until after the trial, which is scheduled to start Jan. 31.
“Certainly, anyone facing the prospect of going to jail would be depressed,” she said.
“What’s disturbing is that we’ve been saying all along that he is a danger to the community and that he should have been in custody all along.”
Haidl’s father, Donald, resigned in September from his position as an Orange County assistant sheriff.
In announcing his decision, the Corona del Mar businessman cited the difficulties and personal guilt of dealing with the charges against his son.
Gregory Haidl also faces misdemeanor statutory rape charges stemming from a July incident in which he allegedly had sex with another 16-year-old girl.
And last autumn, a sheriff’s deputy found a small amount of marijuana among Haidl’s possessions in a car.
No charges were filed on the drug incident, and an Orange County Grand Jury report on how the Sheriff’s Department handled the incident concluded that sheriff’s officials had conspired to cover up the incident to protect Haidl.