City officials, police clam up about alleged joyride crash that wrecked brand new patrol car

City official tells 23ABC "Politely back off"

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - We continue to follow the case of a Bakersfield Police  officer who crashed his brand new patrol car while allegedly on a joyride.

Police are not being very forthcoming about the case. They are refusing to tell us anything including the officers name or how much the car cost.        

Officials said they can’t comment because they are conducting an internal investigation.

When 23ABC asked city officials about the case, one city official told us, "politely back off."

23ABC's story on the cop car and how it was wrecked triggered a lot of comments on our Facebook page.

Most viewers wanted to know if the officer would face any punishment and who was going to pay for the car.

But 23ABC isn’t getting a lot of answers from police.     

It all started Saturday afternoon.            Witnesses told 23ABC a Bakersfield police officer crashed his brand new patrol car on the unfinished Westside parkway.          

Witnesses said the officer said he had taken the car out to see how fast it would go.       

He hit an unfinished section of pavement and crashed, one witness told 23ABC.

Witnesses said the officer was intimidating and ordered everyone to erase their cell phone pictures and said "this never happened."

The cars reportedly cost $23,000 apiece and law enforcement sources say it likely had another $10,000 worth of modifications.

That means local taxpayers could be out about $30,000.

23ABC has made repeated requests to police for information and left a message for the police chief.

The spokesperson told 23ABC that they can’t comment because they are investigating and the chief hasn't returned messages.

Sources inside the department said the cop that crashed is a long time officer in the patrol division and that he was on duty at the time of the crash.

23ABC asked if a proper police report was filed after the crash and who will pay for the car, but again no answers.

The city is self insured up to $1 million but it’s not clear if it will cover possible acts of recklessness.

23ABC also called the city manager’s office and several city council members about the situation.

None of them would answer our questions.

We will continue to keep searching for answers and let you know what we find.

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