[UPDATED with Charges, Drunk-Ass Claims:] John Hines, Long Beach Fire Captain, Arrested for Felony Hit and Run


john-hines_sbpd.jpg
UPDATE, APRIL 27, 10:08 A.M.: Long Beach Fire Department Capt. John Hines began drinking April Fools Day morning at Schooner or Later bar in Long Beach, became heavily intoxicated and early that afternoon climbed behind the wheel of his Chevy pick-up, swerved into a bicyclist who was thrown 70 feet onto a Seal Beach dirt road and continued on without ever hitting his brakes or slowing down at all, allege prosecutors.

The Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) today filed multiple charges against Hines that could fetch the 38-year-old a nearly seven-year stay in state prison.

The Huntington Beach resident is charged with one felony count each of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol .08 percent or more causing injury, hit and run with injury, and sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing great bodily injury and having a blood alcohol level over .20 percent.

A $250,000 warrant has been issued for Hines' arrest.

The OCDA statement below shows that when Hines was confronted at his home after the collision, he not only looked drunk but that there was "a strong odor of urine from his clothing." Around two hours after the crash, he logged a blood alcohol level three times over the legal limit, allege prosecutors, who add the victim's blood was still splattered on the pick-up.

Though being treated for two weeks at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center for head trauma, severe lacerations and bruising to his head and body, internal injuries, and spinal and vertebrae injuries, bicyclist Jeffrey Gordon, 47, of Garden Grove, still suffers limited physical mobility and speech and memory loss, the OCDA reports.

April 27, 2011

FIRE DEPARTMENT CAPTAIN CHARGED WITH INJURING BICYCLIST IN DRUNKEN DRIVING HIT-AND-RUN CRASH
*Defendant is accused of having a blood alcohol level of .24 percent, three times the legal limit

SANTA ANA - A Long Beach Fire Department Captain has been charged with severely injuring a cyclist in a mid-day hit-and-run crash while driving with a blood alcohol level of .24 percent, three times the legal limit.  John David Hines, 38, Huntington Beach, is charged with one felony count each of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol .08 percent or more causing injury, hit and run with injury, and sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing great bodily injury and having a blood alcohol level over .20 percent. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of six years and eight months in state prison. A $250,000 warrant has been issued for Hines' arrest. His arraignment date is to be determined.

On the morning of April 1, 2011, Hines is accused of consuming alcohol and becoming severely intoxicated at the Schooner or Later bar in Long Beach. At approximately 1:20 p.m. on April 1, 2011, Hines is accused of driving erratically under the influence of alcohol eastbound on Westminster Avenue in Seal Beach in his Chevrolet pick-up truck.

While driving, Hines is accused of losing control of his vehicle and suddenly swerving into the bike lane and dirt shoulder. Without slowing or hitting his brakes, he is accused of crashing into 47-year-old bicyclist Jeffrey Gordon. The victim was thrown from his bike over 70 feet and landed on the shoulder of the road. Hines is accused of failing to slow or hit his brakes after crashing into the victim and fleeing the scene.

Two separate drivers who witnessed the crash followed the defendant and called 911. Hines is accused of driving to his Huntington Beach home, where he was contacted by the Huntington Beach and Seal Beach Police Departments.

When contacted by police, Hines is accused of displaying objective signs of intoxication including emitting a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot and watery eyes, unsteady balance, and a strong odor of urine from his clothing. Approximately two hours after the crash, Hines is accused of having a blood alcohol level of .24 percent.

The force of the impact from the crash caused by Hines left a blood splatter on the defendant's vehicle and resulted in major front-end fender and hood damage.

Gordon was transported to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center to be treated for head trauma, severe lacerations and bruising to his head and body, internal injuries, and spinal and vertebrae injuries. Gordon remained in the hospital for two weeks and continues to suffer limited physical mobility and speech and memory loss.

This case was investigated by the Seal Beach Police Department in coordination with the Los Alamitos Police Department as part of the Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.

UPDATE, APRIL 26, 2:55 P.M.: The Long Beach Fire Department has reportedly suspended Capt. John Hines without pay.

The 38-year-old has been charged with felony driving under the influence and felony hit and run after allegedly driving his Chevrolet truck into a bicyclist in Seal Beach on April 1 before fleeing the scene.

"He has not been working since the day of the occurrence," an unnamed "reliable source" reportedly told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. "He's been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation."

The paper also identified the bicyclist as
Jeffrey Gordon, 47, of Garden Grove. He was admitted to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center with head trauma but was later released in good condition, reports the P-T, citing hospital officials.

UPDATE, APRIL 8, 12:05 P.M.: Here is Long Beach Fire Capt. John Hines' booking photo. As we previously reported, the 38-year-old has been charged with felony driving under the influence and felony hit and run after allegedly driving his Chevrolet truck into a bicyclist in Seal Beach on April 1.

Hines was released from jail after posting $50,000 bail.

Authorities have not released the victim's name, so we can't check his condition.

UPDATE, APRIL 7, 5:44 P.M.: Firehousechefs.com demanded the Weekly take down from this post what the site's maintainers claim was a copyrighted photo of a jar of Hines Family Sweet Heat Rub.

Firehouse chefs essentially put it this way: A jar of Hines Family Sweet Heat Rub has nothing to do with the allegedly stinking-drunk fire official.

Rather than argue on fair-use grounds for items of news interest (as the Orange County Register did when it recently stole a photo off the Weekly site without the courtesy of a credit), we decided to comply because we're fat and lazy from our lunch of Cappy McGee's Four-Alarm Fire Chili and Franks.

ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 6, 2:46 P.M.: A Chevy pickup truck swerved into a bike lane in Seal Beach Friday afternoon, striking a bicyclist. The truck driver took off, and witnesses gave chase. The truck was followed to a home in Huntington Beach, and the Seal Beach police later arrived to arrest the man who lives there.

long-beach-fire-logo.jpg
He has been identified as Captain John Hines of the Long Beach Fire Department. The 38-year-old has been charged with felony driving under the influence and felony hit and run. He was jailed but later released after making his $50,000 bail. The Seal Beach Police Department received the call just after 1:30 p.m. on Friday for the accident on Westminster Avenue east of Bolsa Chica. Witnesses told officers the Chevy was traveling about 60 mph east on Westminster before swerving into the bike.

The unidentified bicyclist was thrown over the front of his ride before landing on the dirt side of the road. He was later taken to a local hospital and treated for major head trauma.

Hines hails from a firefighting family. His father, Bob Hines, is a retired Long Beach fire captain, and his uncle, Charlie Hines, retired as the department's chief before becoming fire chief in San Luis Obispo.

The Hines Family Sweet Heat Rub is featured on the Firehousechefs.com, which quotes Capt. John Hines saying, "Throughout the years, my family has always had the passion for good cooking and incorporating lots of flavors. We always have shared our firehouse recipes. That is why you get the best of both worlds: heat and sweetness!"

Long Beach Fire's administrative bureau and the city's Human Resources Department are investigating the incident, according to a Gazettes.com report.

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60 comments
Tojillbaker
Tojillbaker

Firemen and police officers have very demanding jobs....let's please remember that these people are human and not infallible. Its most definitely a tragedy and I am thanful that this victim is still alive. I can guess that this fire captain has great remorse for his actions....considering he saves lives for a living and has a great track record with the LBFD. We all make mistakes so let's be careful not to judge others mistakes.

drago
drago

$250,000 warrant and he's yet to turn himself in. When is HBPD going to go pick this jackass up and take him to jail?

DianaBol
DianaBol

looks like he's a character from that state tropper comedy.

steroids

Sentry063
Sentry063

Although I don't condone John's actions he is a good guy who made a life changing mistake for all involved. His career is most likely over, he faces prison or jail time, his poor family must live with this embarrassment. To the bicyclist, I can't speak for John, but if he were not as stuck as reported, rest asure he would have been the first to render aid. Again I do not condone his action as I have put several individuals. In jail and.prison for this very crime. It baffles my mind that a good guy made an extremely poor decision.

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Jack Grimshaw
Jack Grimshaw

If this guy spent the entire (alleged) drinking session at Schooner or Later, he's not the only one who should be prosecuted. At a body weight of (for argument's sake) 160 pounds, a BAC of over three times the legal limit translates to 10 drinks or more. Where the hell does Schooner or Later think it is ... Huntington Beach?Jack Grimshawaka Baron von Heineken

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THE TRUTH ABOUT LAW
THE TRUTH ABOUT LAW

I will bet this guy will plea not guilty and win his case to a lesser charge like misdemeanor wreckless driving and will be promoted to battalion chief within a year or two. It's by law under penal 830.2 any police or firefighter charged with a felony would be released of duties. Cops back in the day's would get away with DUI charges that the truth

D. JOHNSON
D. JOHNSON

Couple of years ago there was a LBFD Captain arrested for child molestation. The LBFD has a very problematic staff with bad ranking chief's

Chris
Chris

LBFD is staffed with dump truck firefighter's, I work as an ERMD here in long beach at a major trauma center over the years working closely w/ paramedics I wonder if they where spoon feed while attending paramedic school. Paramedics that work for LAFD are hard working medic's and provide great service for the community. LBFD are over paid BAFOON'S who try to be like LAFD CLASS 1 FIRE DEPARTMENT

IDONTWANTTO
IDONTWANTTO

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IDONTWANTTO
IDONTWANTTO

In response to THEFACTSGUY, what's the difference? DUI, that's what matters. And, if it was a drug prescription how would they be able to do the analysis that quickly. Besides alcohol, what else can you test quickly and get reliable results?

IDONTWANTTO
IDONTWANTTO

Unidentified cyclist! Can someone identify him please. The interest is with the cyclist not the drunk firefighter hiding behind his badge.

Drlcrane
Drlcrane

Amazing, that this article makes the firefighter who almost killed someone because he was drunk as a hero. Not my kind of hero.

Culichi1967
Culichi1967

i laugh when firemen are hailed as heroes. they are doing the jo that they chose to perform and for which they are very well compensated. i especially get a kick when i get those persistant telephone calls asking for donations for these guys who toil 3 days a week at a station where they all work out, shine their engines, feed spot, flirt with wives at the local market, and who earn a ton of money all the while enjoying a pretty good retirement at an early age. i am all for havign well paid workers as members of the middle class. but callign them heroes? whatever.

Mark J Reed
Mark J Reed

So a kid gets treated for major head trauma, and you turn this article into a sales pitch for the drunk who hit hims family. Are you going to take up collections for the victim to balance your poor reporting skills out?

Way to stay classy Matt Coker.

LB VOICE
LB VOICE

The truth is he was drinking after his shift ended from 0700 hrs from station 14 in Long Beach, ca . He was drinking with his comrades (firefighter paramedics) that he works with from LBFD getting sh_t faced with those bloody mary's from schooner or later for sevral hours he left the bar around 1300hrs. Do you think his firefighter friends would of taken his keys away or gave him a ride to his house knowing what could happen ? Shame LBFD your department should be held accountable fire hiring these RETARD'S

jaded justice
jaded justice

I bet that guy is still on the job, like this clown probably is...

California Bear
California Bear

I guess you never looked at the side of an LBFD engine. Long Beach is also a Class 1 Fire Department which means that their personnel must meet the same standards as LAFD.

BB
BB

Chris, ERMD? You think all those years of med school would of given you the chance to work on the grammer? "Where spoon feed" ? Really??

Stuart
Stuart

Bitter. One can only guess??????????????

PATRIOT
PATRIOT

Really? Take a look at the pay scales "Chris". Your wrong, LAFD makes more money than Long Beach FD. I'm gonna guess that your boyfriend is an LAFD medic...

THEFACTSGUY
THEFACTSGUY

using a blood test can identify whatever you screen for most DUI suspects are taken to the emergency room for a blood test so???? I am not saying that alcohol was not the case in this incident. The article does not specify but the poster jumped to the conclusion.

Just very poor reporting and a response that jumped to conclusions

R65mtang
R65mtang

the guy on the bike is a homeless person

THEFACTSGUY
THEFACTSGUY

WOW u hit the nail on the head, any info on how this guy is doing?

but i will disagree that this guy is hiding behind any badge sine its plastered all over this article….. in this case i cant say there is a coverup….. yet but we will see

MeToo
MeToo

And don't forget the hilarious fact that when they go out the door to answer your call for help there is a high probability that they will die rendering assistance to your ignorant ass! How much risk do you incur on a daily basis with your job? (if you have one) Is that risk worth any monetary you might receive? What is potently putting your life on the line every workday worth to you? Me? They couldn't pay me enough! Don't condemn the whole profession because of this one drunk douche bag. People might think your an ASSHOLE!

Todd
Todd

Don't be a hater!

Patriot
Patriot

Thank you thefactsguy for clearing a few of those things up.Look Culichi, I am a fireman. I do not work for Long Beach Fire Department though, however I was born and raised in LB and have LBFD friends. Toiling 3 days a week at the station isn't what you think it is. Do you know Long Beach very well? East LB isn't as busy (call wise), as the downtown, west and north LB. 3 days can turn into roughly 30+ calls, with 10+ each shift. Which calls vary from an old person fell down and dislocated their hip, to a minor residential gas leak, to a highspeed multiple vehicle accident on the fwy, where lives are lost and your pumping someone's chest all the way to the hospital in order to revive them, to a trash, or house, or apartment, or vehicle fire, to having to use the knife in your own pocket to cut the rope of a minor who succesfully took their own life by hanging, to happening at all hours of the day and night. Yes it can be 2 calls in 24 hours, which is rare, or it can be 15 calls in 24 hours. Please refer some of your misguided information answers to thefactsguy, he is right on. In no way shape or form is it acceptable behavior to intake alcohol, get behind the wheel and drive, then to flee an accident scene. Clearly we all know that. No article I read said if the cyclist was wearing a helmet. Although I heard he was not wearing one on the news. It should be a law to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, like wearing a seatbelt in a vehicle. If you think this is a ridiculous idea, then at least for personnel that use hi-performance bikes (road, tri, etc) or use them on street with posted speed limits over a certain MPH. I am a triathlete and ride my tri-bike down the same stretch of Westminster. I would never travel that road without a helmet.Why doesn't the bystander get any accreditation in this incident? Also, leave the hero thing out of this. A hero is someone who has someone call them a hero in their own opinion. So this Fire Captain may not be a hero right now. But imagine how many lives this guy has saved, or changed for the better. Unfortunately, he made a terrible decision, and it changed someone's life for the worse recently. Let's pray that the cyclist fully recovers, and this fire captain learned his lesson.

THEFACTSGUY
THEFACTSGUY

Its the media that refers to firemen and police officers as heros….. they also do the same with professional athletes.

We should understand that they are human being and they too make mistakes.

This is an unfortunate situation for all involved.

But since you brought up some things lets tell the whole story Culichi: most of the support phone calls you receive to help firefighters and cops are scams, Public safety officials DO NOT cold call for money.

3 days a week lets not forget those are 24 hour shifts that = a 56 hour workweek 16 hours above the average. firefighters should work out, their physical condition is directly relative to the job they perform, i can only hope that if you ever need their services they are fit enough to help you out.

ton of money??? again do some research firefighters are compensated approx 50k a year on average I would say thats far from a ton of money and don't forget the reason they retire at an early age (50-55) is because they don't live to see their retirements. Firefighters die due to the stress and complications of a host of medical problems they endure through their careers.

You do make a good point saying they choose this profession, But it is a profession to serve us the public i am not saying lets put them on a pedestal but we should be thankful and respect they have chosen to serve….. when most people these days are only serving themselves

lastly i hope they are keeping "my" fire trucks clean, we all pay for the equipment so i want them good looking and working in case I need them

sorry for the rant but it flusters me when people cant see the facts and are uninformed

ISO RATED
ISO RATED

I SAW THE SIDE OF THE FIRE ENGINE !!! (CAPTIAN'S DOOR) . ITS SAID IN MEMORY OF CAPT JOHN HINES LBFD DOUCHE BAG CLASS 1 FIRE DEPARTMENT

MJ
MJ

HEY BB !! TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR GRAMMER ? WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR EDUCATION AT LBUSD ? YOU MUST BE A LBFD EMPLOYEE

MCC
MCC

Hey Stuart ! Why dont stop by and visit ERMD for an ANAL PLUG

ERMD
ERMD

I oversee the paramedic student's in the clinical setting. And for the most part LBFD student's only can offer is playing grab ass w/ the nurses.

Seal Beach Rag Doll
Seal Beach Rag Doll

The guy on the bike (which was a beach cruiser) was not a homeless person, you idiot! What an assanine comment. You make me sick.

IDONTWANTTO
IDONTWANTTO

I won't call it a cover up either, although this is the only mention I've seen of this incident so kudos to OCWEEKLY for reporting this. There may be flaws in the story but under the circumstances, we're better off knowing a little bit than having it be another forgotten tragedy.

sweetpea
sweetpea

OMG, you've got to be kidding. Firemen are theives.

Walk into any fire dept. at 7:30PM on a Wed and listen carefully.... What do you hear? Men pumping iron? Cleaning? No, how about movie night!!!! That is right, folks. Movies cranked up to 10,000 on their surround systems all while the "heros" laugh their asses off... all the way to the bank.

Oh yeah, ever see the fat... er frat boys picking up on chicks at your local concerts in the park? Yep, that is hard work, boys. They have an official term for that, they call it public out reach. Yeah, I bet. I can "outreach" too.

Go back to volunteer fire departments, as was disolved by the union hacks here in OC. Then we need to cut their pay, their benefits and bring those cushy job idiots back to reality.

Doctordan
Doctordan

Yes, sales pitch. Are you serious that you don't recognize the pitch, even showing a picture of their product and quoting the drunk driver about his product. He seriously injured an innocent bike rider because he was drunk driving at 1;30 in the afternoon.If you want to add a human element to the story it should be about the victim

THEFACTSGUY
THEFACTSGUY

maybe because half the article (including a large picture is in reference to a spice, you even gave the link to the store to buy it…. I perfect example of google reporting cmon we the reading public deserves better than that

again way to stay classy Matt Coker

Stuart
Stuart

ER MD? You are lying. A MD would not oversee PM clinical training and a MD would certainly know how to punctuate correctly. (student's versus students).

THEFACTSGUY
THEFACTSGUY

agreed, but what about the real hero's in this story,

What about the bystanders that gave chase to bring this guy to justice????

this article could have been about there acts to spring into action.

Thats what is missing in all of our communities today, Thank them for "doing the right thing"

So much focus on what the driver did for a living, I could care less I feel sorry for him and his family

I feel deeper sorrow for the true victim of this tragedy and still wonder how he is doin

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