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Manhattan Beach police officers under investigation in hit-and-run case

February 11, 2010 |  5:20 pm
Four Manhattan Beach police officers are under investigation and were placed on leave after allegedly failing to report a hit-and-run accident caused by a vehicle registered to one of the officers, authorities said Thursday.

Alcohol may have been involved in the three-car collision that occurred Jan. 31 near Sepulveda and Manhattan Beach boulevards, the Police Department said.

When officers arrived, the driver suspected of causing the crash had fled. The driver's unoccupied vehicle was found later at a nearby gasoline station.

Officers conducted a registration check, which showed that the owner was a Manhattan Beach police officer. No report was taken and no arrests were made, Police Chief Rod Uyeda said in a statement.

Uyeda said he had "grave concerns about decisions that were made by police officers involved in the investigation of the collision."

The officers were placed on leave after a preliminary internal affairs investigation. Uyeda, citing the complexity of the case, said the investigation has been turned over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

-- Robert J. Lopez