California

California pilot accused of flying under the influence

A California man’s plane ride veered off course and ended abruptly after he was arrested by police -- on suspicion of flying under the influence.

"A DUI involving an airplane, that doesn't happen very often,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Alex Villanueva.

The Piper Cherokee's left wing clipped a stop sign, but the single-engine plane remained upright after it landed in an empty warehouse parking lot late Monday, Villanueva said.

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As deputies talked to the pilot, they suspected he might be intoxicated and took him into custody, The Associated Press reported.

Darrell Roberts, 58, was alone in the airplane and he was not injured, according to Fox 5.

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Roberts could face a misdemeanor charge of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It wasn't immediately known if he has an attorney. Roberts was held in lieu of $1,000 bail and ordered to appear in court July 5.

Roberts got lost and was running out of fuel during a planned flight from Temecula, in Riverside County, to San Diego, about 60 miles south, The Associated Press reported.

"He was headed in the wrong direction and somehow ended up here in LA County," said Villanueva.

The plane landed in Whittier, a Los Angeles suburb about 70 miles north of where it took off. It was expected to be retrieved by a crew hired by an insurance company, Villanueva said.

The 1973 Piper PA-28-140 is registered to a Darrell S. Roberts of Winchester, in Riverside County. A phone number for Roberts could not be found.

The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating, spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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