Friday's court hearing for a Long Beach fire captain accused of hitting a Seal Beach cyclist while drunk and fleeing the scene was postponed until September.
John David Hines, the Long Beach Fire Department captain who is accused of plowing into a bicyclist while driving with three times the legal limit for alcohol in his system, was scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to move forward with his case. The hearing was postponed, and he is instead scheduled to appear in court next week for a pretrial hearing and back again in September for a new preliminary hearing.
Hines, 38, of Huntington Beach, was charged with a felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more causing injury, hit and run with injury, and sentencing enhancements and allegations of causing great bodily injury and having a blood alcohol level of more than 0.20 percent.
If convicted, Hines would face a maximum six years and eight months in state prison, said a spokesperson for the Orange County District Attorney’s office. Following his April 1 arrest, Hines was released on $50,000 bail and reportedly checked himself into alcohol rehab.
According to prosecutors, Hines spent the morning of April 1 drinking at a Long Beach restaurant called Schooner or Later, then drove his truck down Westminster Avenue in Seal Beach, where he swerved off the road and crashed into 47-year-old bicyclist Jeffrey Gordon. Prosecutors allege that Hines had a 0.24 percent blood alcohol level at the time.
Gordon was thrown more than 70 feet and landed on the shoulder of the street, according to prosecutors. The impact of the high-speed collision broke the windshield and nearly disabled Hines’ Chevy Silverado, according to witnesses who chased him, honking and screaming at him to pull over, as he drove several blocks from the crash scene to his home. Police arrested him shortly after he arrived home.
Gordon spent two weeks in the hospital with head trauma, severe lacerations and bruising to his head and body, internal injuries and spinal and vertebrae injuries. He continues to suffer limited physical mobility and speech and memory loss, prosecutors said.
On the day of the incident, Hines was arrested and then released on $50,000 bail.