John Bryson case now in hands of L.A. district attorney
A bizarre incident involving former U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson and two alleged hit-and-run crashes in the San Gabriel Valley is now being examined by Los Angeles prosecutors, who will decide if Bryson should face criminal charges.
Bryson resigned from his post last month after the Commerce Department said the crashes were caused by seizures. Police have said they don't believe Bryson was under the influence of alcohol, but were awaiting blood test results before determining what to do with the case. Results of those tests have not been revealed.
Police sent the case to the L.A. County district attorney's office, but it's unclear when a decision on the matter will be made.
Doctors are continuing to evaluate the 68-year-old Bryson in connection with the June 9 incident, which Bryson's neurologist initially diagnosed as a "complex partial seizure," a Commerce Department official said.
A department official previously said Bryson had a "limited recall of the events" surrounding the seizure, which was said to be Bryson's first.
Bryson was driving a Lexus in the 400 block of South San Gabriel Boulevard shortly after 5 p.m. on June 9 when he allegedly rear-ended a Buick as it was waiting for a train to pass, authorities said.
After briefly stopping to talk to the three men inside the Buick, Bryson left the location in the Lexus and then struck the Buick a second time, authorities said. The men followed Bryson's car and called 911 to ask for assistance, according to a police statement.
Bryson continued to drive his Lexus into Rosemead, which is patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, authorities said. There, he allegedly crashed into a second vehicle with two people inside near the intersection of San Gabriel Boulevard and Hellman Avenue, they said.
Officers found him alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his car, authorities said. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Officials said Bryson was cited for felony hit-and-run but not booked into jail because he was taken to a hospital, where he remained overnight for testing and observation.
He took a medical leave of absence June 11, telling Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank he needed to "focus all of my attention on resolving the health issues that arose over the weekend."
He later resigned.
Bryson, who has a home in San Marino, was in Southern California on June 7 to give the commencement address at Polytechnic School in Pasadena, the alma mater of his four daughters.
Some students and parents at the school noticed that Bryson, a polished public speaker, made mistakes and had lapses during his remarks. Several people told The Times that Bryson repeated himself and rambled at times. One parent said he mangled words and did not appear to notice.
-- Andrew Blankstein and Kate Mather (twitter.com/katemather)
Photo: Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson. Credit: Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images