Norwalk man arrested for selling alcohol to underage driver in fatal Halloween accident

Updated 12/18/19

On December 17, 2019, Vice Investigation Detectives and agents from The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) arrested 56-year-old Amor Potestades Amacio of the City of Norwalk, for furnishing alcohol to a minor resulting in great bodily harm. Amacio will be charged with the selling/furnishing of alcohol to Carlo Navarro on October 31, 2019, at the Green Diamond Liquor, located at 5300 block of Long Beach Boulevard.

A few hours after Navarro was illegally furnished alcohol at the liquor store, he was arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence after fatally striking three pedestrians, who were walking southbound on the west sidewalk of Country Club Drive.

“The Department remains in close contact with the Awaida family. Their loss has been greatly felt in our community,” said Police Chief Robert G. Luna. “However, our work is still not done, we will continue to hold all those accountable for illegal actions that lead to other crimes.”

Immediately after the crash, the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) and ABC opened a Target Responsibility for Alcohol Connected Emergencies (TRACE) investigation to find the source of the alcohol that was consumed by Navarro, an underage driver at the time.

“This program is important because it provides ABC with additional resources to hold accountable individuals or businesses who sell or furnish alcohol to minors who are later involved in alcohol-related incidents that cause serious injuries or deaths,” said ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith.

After conducting a series of interviews and examining evidence, detectives determined suspect Amacio sold alcohol to Navarro at the Green Diamond Liquor earlier that evening. Amacio was booked for selling alcohol to a minor resulting in great bodily injury and other related administrative charges. Amacio is being held at the Long Beach City jail on $100,000 bail.

Alongside this investigation, the LBPD conducted a separate operation in an effort to reduce underage consumption of, and access to, alcohol. The operation resulted in:

  • 14 establishments checked
  • 3 issued citations for selling to a minor
  • 5 issued citations where an adult purchased alcohol for a minor

ABC will be seeking disciplinary action against Green Diamond Liquor’s alcoholic beverage license for furnishing alcohol to a minor, a violation of section 25658(c) of the California Business and Professions Code. The penalty for the business could be a suspension or revocation of the license. A penalty has not yet been determined.

The TRACE program is made possible by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. The grant provides funding for in-depth ABC investigations of serious incidents including car crashes, but also alcohol overdoses, poisonings, and assaults involving minors and alcohol consumption.

The sale of alcohol to minors will not be tolerated in the City of Long Beach and the LBPD will continue to investigate and work with our regional and state partners to continue deterring underage drinking. We urge residents to report any illegal activity, and with your partnership, we will continue to have a safer City for all.

Updated 11/08/19

On November 7, 2019, suspect Carlo Navarro was re-booked for two counts of manslaughter in connection to the traffic fatality investigation from October 31st, while in custody for an unrelated burglary warrant.

The same day, detectives presented the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration and a no-bail hold was granted until Navarro’s scheduled arraignment on Tuesday, November 12th.

Navarro is currently being held at the Los Angeles County Jail.

Updated 11/04/19

In the early hours of November 4, 2019, officers were notified that the female adult involved in the October 31, 2019 traffic collision had succumb to her injuries in the evening of November 3rd.

The female has been identified as 32-year-old Raihan Awaida of Long Beach.

Updated 11/02/19

On November 2, 2019, officers were notified that the juvenile involved in the October 31, 2019 traffic collision had succumbed to his injuries earlier that morning. The juvenile is only being identified as a three-year-old male.

Original releasep published on 11/01/19

The below information was updated on 11/04/19 with the identity of the male adult.

On October 31, 2019 at approximately 9:55 p.m., officers responded to an injury traffic collision in the area of Country Club Drive and Los Cerritos Park Place involving a vehicle and three pedestrians, which resulted in the death of a male adult.

Upon arrival, officers located three pedestrians, a male and female adult and one male juvenile. Long Beach Fire Department personnel responded and began administering life-saving measures to the critically injured pedestrians. All three pedestrians were transported to local hospitals, where the male adult pedestrian later succumbed to his injuries.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of a 2002 Toyota Sequoia was traveling southbound on Country Club Drive approaching Los Cerritos Park when he failed to negotiate a turn in the roadway, drove up onto the sidewalk, and struck the three pedestrians, who were walking southbound on the west sidewalk of Country Club Drive. The three pedestrians are all residents of Long Beach and are from the same family.

The driver of the vehicle, later identified as 20-year-old Carlo Navarro of Long Beach, was detained at the scene and a DUI investigation was initiated. Navarro was taken into custody and booked for driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter and is being held in the Long Beach City Jail on $100,000 bail.

The decedent has been identified as Joseph Awaida, a 30-year-old resident of Long Beach.

Anyone who may have information regarding this incident is asked to call Long Beach Police Department Collision Investigation Detective Sirilo Garcia at (562) 570-7355. Any residents in the area who may have video surveillance of the collision or of the vehicle driving prior to the collision are asked to contact Detective Sirilo Garcia via his email at [email protected] Anonymous tips may be submitted through “LA Crime Stoppers” by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), downloading the “P3 Tips” app to your smart phone (available at the Apple App store and Google Play), or visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org.