Questions surround erratic crash involving LAPD commander in Carson

CARSON, Calif. (KABC) —

Questions surround a crash in Carson that involved a Los Angeles police commander abandoning his mangled vehicle after people reported him driving erratically on the 405 Freeway.

In 911 calls from Jan. 24, panicked drivers are heard reporting an erratic driver on the southbound 405 Freeway. One driver said the vehicle was traveling at high speeds on the freeway without a front wheel. Another caller described a similar situation, saying the vehicle was heavily damaged.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the reported vehicle was a city-issued Dodger Charger belonging to LAPD Cmdr. Jeff Nolte.

The vehicle was later found abandoned near the intersection of 213th Street and Avalon Boulevard in Carson.

What happened that night remains a mystery and Nolte did not answer his door when Eyewitness News attempted to contact him.

Authorities said Nolte was not hurt in the incident and members of the public were also unharmed and not involved in the crash.

Los Angeles police continue to investigate the incident, and since then Nolte has been assigned home pending the investigation.

The high-ranking officer has been with the department for 31 years. He was recently promoted to the force investigation group that oversees officer-involved shootings.

Nolte himself was involved in an officer-involved shooting that resulted in a lawsuit and the city paying a man $2 million.

Eyewitness News also learned that the Monday following the crash, Nolte enrolled in the controversial DROP program, which allows an officer to collect pension funds while collecting a paycheck as long as they retire within five years.

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