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Woman is charged in traffic conflict

June 10, 2008|Tony Perry | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — The state attorney general's office Monday filed drunk driving and other charges against a woman whose traffic confrontation with an off-duty police officer ended with her and her 8-year-old son being shot.

Rachel Silva, 27, was charged with felony child endangerment for putting her son in "circumstances likely to produce great bodily injury or death."

On March 15, Silva allegedly cut off Frank White's car in traffic, then chased the off-duty San Diego police officer into an Oceanside parking lot, where she rammed her car into his.

According to the criminal complaint, Silva was driving in an "aggressive" manner, revving her engine as she followed White into the lot. Silva pulled in front of him, put her car in reverse and rammed his vehicle, the complaint said. At that point, the officer fired five times into Silva's car, hitting her and her son.

Silva was struck twice in the arm, her son twice in the leg.

White has told investigators that he feared for his life when he fired at the car.

Silva has two prior convictions for drunk driving. She is set to be arraigned next month.

The San Diego County district attorney, meanwhile, is investigating whether charges should be filed against White, who is back at work, on desk duty.

Silva was charged with felony child endangerment and four misdemeanors, including drunk driving, driving with a suspended license and driving while in possession of marijuana.

In a statement, the attorney general's office said that the circumstances that led to Silva ramming White's car "were insufficient for the filing of a charge of assault with a deadly weapon or any other assault charge against Rachel Silva."

Silva's attorney, Michael Pancer, declined to comment before reviewing discovery materials.


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