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Fresno Detective Arrested. Was Texting Before Fatal Collision with Pedestrian, Police Say.



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Fresno police detective Benito Soto was arrested Wednesday on a number of charges stemming from his involvement in a fatal night time accident that killed a homeless man near downtown Fresno.

A search of Soto’s cell phone showed he was texting while driving, which led to the Sept. 5 accident, according to a news release issued by the department.

Soto was assigned to Fresno PD’s street violence bureau and was on duty and driving his department assigned vehicle, officials said. The pedestrian was identified as 51 year old Jose Pulido.

Soto has been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case and an internal affairs investigation, the release said.

The Accident

According to the department’s investigation, Pulido was crossing Fresno Street northbound in a marked crosswalk when he was struck by Soto’s vehicle. Investigators said Pulido was crossing against the light and had alcohol and drugs in his system, but they also determined Soto was texting in the moments leading up to the collision.

“Detective Soto was likely distracted from seeing Mr. Pulido in the roadway,” the department’s release said, noting the intersection is well-lit.

Soto faces four charges including vehicular manslaughter and texting while driving, authorities said.