Page One

Retired Police Officer Arrested in Fatal Crash

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday June 05, 2007

A retired Berkeley police officer was jailed Sunday night on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving after he allegedly struck and killed an elderly Berkeley woman on Solano Avenue. 

The Alameda County Corner’s office identified the victim as Betty Kietzman, 82, of 915 Fresno Ave. The cause of death is listed as multiple blunt force injuries. 

Berkeley Police Lt. Wesley Hester said the suspect charged in the death is Guillermo Robles, 56, who retired from the department in 2001, where he had been serving as a patrol and narcotics officer. 

According to witnesses, Robles struck the woman as she was crossing Solano Avenue at Fresno Avenue. 

Police and paramedics arrived at the scene within minutes of the 10:50 p.m. call. The injured woman was rushed to a local emergency room, where she was later pronounced dead, said Hester. 

After a field sobriety test at the scene, Robles was handcuffed and taken to city jail, where he was held on the two felony charges. Hester said he was transported to the county jail at Santa Rita Monday morning. 

After booking at the jail, said the officer, Robles was released on $30,000 bail. 

Hester said he couldn’t reveal the results of the blood alcohol tests, but said that because of the death, “fairly extensive testing was involved.” 

Since retiring from the police department, Robles has become a business owner, said James Carter, the former manager of the Albany Chamber of Commerce. Known as “Memo” to friends, Robles opened Casa Oaxaca, a store which features imports from the Mexican state where was he born, Carter said. The store opened in July 2004 at 1274 Solano Ave. 

Hester said he believes that Keitzman’s death is the city’s first traffic fatality for the year.