Off-duty cop arrested after alleged DUI collision outside police headquarters

An off-duty police officer was arrested Monday night on suspicion of driving under the influence after allegedly hitting another car with his Lexus near police headquarters in Mission Bay, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.

Raul Eric Elias, 50, was allegedly driving while under the influence of alcohol when his sedan struck a Mercedes at around 10:40 p.m. near Third and Mission Rock streets, police confirmed Tuesday.

Elias, a 17-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department, was indicted on federal charges in February 2014 after an FBI investigation into a group of plainclothes officers who were accused of illegally searching residential hotels in South of Market.

That same investigation also resulted in the discovery of racist and homophobic text messages sent between SFPD officers, though Elias was not implicated in sending the texts. The messages have served as a catalyst for reforming the department.

Elias was indicted on charges of conspiring to violate civil rights and deprivation of rights under the color of law, according to court records. But the charges against him were dismissed in July 2016 after he completed a pre-trial diversion program.

Elias, a resident of San Mateo, could not immediately be reached for comment on his arrest Tuesday evening.

Police said no one was injured in the collision and that the impact only caused minor damage.

Elias was arrested after officers determined that he was “impaired” and “displayed signs of alcohol intoxication,” police said.

He was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor driving under the influence and an infraction of the Vehicle Code for unsafe backing.

Elias is assigned to the Special Operations Bureau, police said. The department has launched an administrative investigation in response to the incident.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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