A 21-year-old Menlo Park man arrested last month on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol following a crash that injured his 7-year-old sister has pleaded not guilty to two counts of driving under the influence and one count of felony child endangerment, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
On Aug. 29, Bryan Zuleta drove a gray Honda Odyssey into a speed limit pole and an oak tree on the northbound shoulder of Middlefield Road in Atherton, just north of Surrey Lane, according to an Aug. 30 Atherton Police Department press release.
Zuleta told police that he had been broadsided by a truck that left the scene, but the physical damage to his car contradicted his story, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said in an email.
Zuleta's sister, who was in the back seat of the car and not in a proper safety restraint system at the time of the crash, suffered a minor fracture to her left collarbone. Their mother arrived at the scene and urged police to arrest her son, Wagstaffe said.
A breathalyzer measured the man's blood alcohol level at .22%, nearly three times the legal limit, Wagstaffe said.
Zuleta was arrested and booked into the San Mateo County Jail on charges of DUI with injury and child endangerment. He was arraigned on Aug. 30 and pleaded not guilty, Wagstaffe said.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sept. 10. Zuleta is being held on $50,000 bail.