CHP answers claims against officer after traffic stop

CHP answers claims against officer after traffic stop
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A Bakersfield woman is still looking for answers following what she called a questionable traffic stop by a California Highway Patrol officer Sunday night.

The woman said she was scolded by the officer for not immediately stopping when the officer turned on his lights. Eyewitness News is now learning that the CHP has launched an internal investigation into the matter.

Sunday evening, Laura Aguilar was engaged in a traffic stop by a CHP patrol officer. She drove several miles on Highway 58 near Interstate 5 to a well-lit parking lot of a nearby convenience store before stopping.

“I kept explaining to him my kids were in the car with me, (and) I wanted to pull into a safe place,” Aguilar recalled.

She expressed how being patted down by a male officer made her uncomfortable.

“No one else was around, I didn't think a male officer could do that,: she said. "It was very uncomfortable.”

Aguilar said she was handcuffed and put in the front seat of the officer's patrol car. She would remain there for approximately 30 minutes while the officer conducted his investigation, including questioning her 8-year-old son sitting in her car with her 4-year-old son.

After speaking with a second arriving officer, she was given a speeding ticket and a warned her troubles might not be over.

“He stated (he’s) going to file a report with the DA's office, someone will contact you by mail if they decide to press charges,” she said.

Wednesday afternoon, CHP spokesman Sgt. Layne Logan detailed what charges the district attorney could consider.

“There is no legal guidelines as far as locations where officers have to make stops,” Logan said

He cited California Vehicle Code 21806 as the law they use for guide on the issue. It reads: “Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle which is sounding a siren and which has at least one lighted lamp exhibiting red light, the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway, and remain stopped until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.”

Eyewitness News asked Logan if an additional law is needed to more focus on traffic stops?

“I wouldn't know what difference in wording would be necessary,” Logan said.

Logan could not comment on certain specifics in the Aguilar case but did confirm there is dash-cam video of the incident.