FULLERTON — A Los Angeles police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to two felony charges stemming from a high-speed chase that began when officers suspected he was having sex in a pickup truck outside a Buena Park adult theater.
David Robert Bergstrom, 36, of Orange pleaded guilty to evading arrest and trying to bribe a witness--a strip-club dancer who was with him. He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drunken driving and admitted he had a gun.
Authorities dropped a misdemeanor charge of lewd conduct because of lack of evidence.
Bergstrom faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 27.
"We're satisfied with the plea, that the officer was convicted of the two most serious charges, the felonies," said Orange County Deputy Dist. Atty. Marc Kelly. "It's not every day that you see a police officer convicted of a felony."
Bergstrom has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of an internal disciplinary probe, said Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Sgt. William Guerrero. Bergstrom's lawyer did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
The July 22 incident began when Buena Park police officers thought they saw a burglar peeking into a pickup truck parked near the Studio Theater in the 7800 block of Beach Boulevard. When they approached, it appeared two people were having sex inside, police said.
The driver took off and led officers on a chase--at times going in the wrong direction on freeway ramps--at speeds exceeding 80 m.p.h. The truck was abandoned and the woman, a 19-year-old Anaheim resident, was found hiding in bushes nearby.
Authorities traced the license plate to Bergstrom and filed criminal charges three weeks later.
Kelly said Bergstrom told the passenger he would pay her fines if she lied. The prosecutor said the lewd conduct charge was dropped because it was unclear if the two were having sex.
Bergstrom announced unexpectedly Tuesday that he was pleading guilty, Kelly said.