News Releases

February 15, 2023: Sheriff’s Deputy Charged With Murder of 12-Year-Old Boy in Off-Duty Crash in South Gate

Media Relations Division

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Ricardo Castro has been charged with murder and vehicular manslaughter when he crashed his vehicle into another car, killing a 12-year-old boy and injuring two others in South Gate.

“The deputy showed a conscious disregard for the lives and safety of the people of South Gate by recklessly speeding on a busy street. The behavior is even more confounding since this happened in an area designated as a zone where school children were present,” District Attorney Gascón said. “Tragically, a 12-year-old boy was killed in the space where he should have been most safe. His family and classmates are left to try to make sense of such a preventable tragedy.”

“This investigation required a tremendous amount of patience and expertise to ensure that we had all of the factual information and evidence aligned before presenting our case to the District Attorney’s Office,” said South Gate Police Chief Darren Arakawa. “It seems commonplace in Los Angeles County to see some motorist driving recklessly and at freeway speeds on residential and business streets. The outcome of these driving habits of some sadly have irreparable consequences.”

Castro (dob 4/27/94) was charged in case BA512674 with one count each of murder, vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving causing great bodily injury. He made his initial court appearance today but his arraignment was continued until March 23. A bail review hearing is set for February 22 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

The case was filed for warrant yesterday.

On Nov. 3, 2021, at about 3:55 p.m., Castro was allegedly driving at a high rate of speed on Firestone Boulevard in South Gate when he collided with another vehicle whose driver was making a left-hand turn. The speed limit on the street is typically 35 mph but is reduced to 25 mph when school children are present.

The driver suffered serious injuries and her 12-year-old brother, Isaiah R., was taken to a nearby hospital where he died. Castro and his passenger also were injured in the crash.

The case remains under investigation by the South Gate Police Department.