The Tribune (SLO) - - Front Page - BY MATT FOUN­TAIN

The San Luis Obispo County District At­tor­ney’s Of­fice files charges against a man ac­cused of ly­ing about a hit-and-run.

Prose­cu­tors on Tues­day filed a felony and three mis­de­meanor charges against a Creston man who al­legedly con­cocted a story about his truck be­ing stolen after the ve­hi­cle was in­volved in a hit and run.

The San Luis Obispo County District At­tor­ney’s Of­fice filed charges against Richard Lawrence Gon­za­lez in­clud­ing leav­ing the scene of an ac­ci­dent, falsely re­port­ing a theft, giv­ing false in­for­ma­tion to a po­lice of­fi­cer and mak­ing a false report of a crim­i­nal act .

A spokesman for the District At­tor­ney’s Of­fice was not im­me­di­ately avail­able Tues­day af­ter­noon, but the crim­i­nal com­plaint states that Gon­za­lez, 39, faces a max­i­mum of four and a half years in County Jail if con­victed on all charges.

On April 3, some­one driv­ing Gon­za­lez’s Ford F-150 made an un­safe lane change on High­way 101 while driv­ing north near the Atas­cadero Traf­fic Way exit, strik­ing a Toy­ota Ta­coma, ac­cord­ing to the CHP.

The Ta­coma ca­reened off the road­way, crashed through a fence and hit a tree near the Denny’s restau­rant, send­ing the driver to the hos­pi­tal with mod­er­ate in­juries.

The CHP says that after the crash, Gon­za­lez pulled his ve­hi­cle pa­per­work from the glove box and fled on foot to­ward Atas­cadero, leav­ing be­hind his lap­top, ID and other items.

The agency pub­licly re­quested in­for­ma­tion about Gon­za­lez’s where­abouts, and he later turned him­self into au­thor­i­ties, claim­ing his pickup had been stolen prior to the in­ci­dent and that he was not in­volved in the crash.

After in­ves­ti­gat­ing for three weeks, the CHP de­ter­mined Gon­za­lez was in­deed the driver in the crash. Of­fi­cers ad­vised Gon­za­lez of the investigative find­ings and his fab­ri­cated al­ibi and gave him an op­por­tu­nity to turn him­self into au­thor­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease.

He was spot­ted by po­lice on April 26 walk­ing on Santa Lu­cia Road south of Traf­fic Way in Atas­cadero and taken into cus­tody.

Though he had pre­vi­ously been held at the County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail, Gon­za­lez was no longer listed as of Tues­day.

Richard Gon­za­lez

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