By Ritu Jha
Dharmesh Patel, the Indian American doctor who the police allege intentionally drove his family off a cliff on a California highway on January 2, was arrested and taken to jail soon after he was released from hospital, the San Mateo District Attorney said on Friday.
Patel was released on Thursday, January 26, the California Highway Patrol told to Indica.
“In the case involving Dharmesh Patel and the Tesla driving over the cliff at Devil’s Slide, I wanted to let you know that Mr. Patel has been released from the hospital and has been booked in the San Mateo County jail by the California Highway Patrol,” Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo District Attorney announced on Friday through a press note.
He further stated that, “We will complete our review of the case Monday morning and make the decision whether charges will be filed against Mr. Patel. If the decision is made to file criminal charges against him, Mr. Patel will be arraigned Monday afternoon, January 30, 2023 at 1:30 here at the Hall of Justice in Redwood City, Courtroom 4-A on the fourth floor.”
According to police reports, the 41-year-old Patel, a resident of Pasadena in southern California, was returning with his wife Neha and their children after visiting his in-laws in Dublin, California.
While driving along Highway 1 near San Mateo, police claim that Patel intentionally drove his Tesla off Devil’s Slide, a section of the road off the ocean that rises 250 feet. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has charged him with attempted murder and child abuse. The children are aged seven and four, respectively.
All four survived and were air-lifted to Stanford Hospital. Patel was immediately arrested by CHP on charges of attempted murder and child abuse.
Calling the family’s survival “miraculous,” San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe had told indica on January 8 that Patel, who appears to have recovered from the crash, may face charges by Monday, January 9. But the DA’s office later decided to further investigate after the CHP submitted the report.
On January 20, Wagstaffe told indica, “The California Highway Patrol (CHP) did their job and have submitted the report. We are doing some additional investigation. We have requested Tesla to find out if there was any mechanical difficulty that could have caused the car go out of control.”
The widely covered incident has shocked the Indian American community.
Wagstaffe told indica the children have been released from the hospital and were in the custody of Patel’s sister.
Patel’s attorney did not respond to requests from indica.
Patel is a radiologist in Mission Hills, California and is affiliated with Providence Holy Cross Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine. His neighbors described the Patel family as “perfect” with no issues of domestic violence ever reported, according to a Pasadena city manager spokeswoman.