Connect with us


Fresno Police Sergeant Is Charged for DUI, Drugs, Robbery



Composite image of patrol car and Fresno Police patch
Sgt. Donald J. Dinnell came under scrutiny after he crashed his patrol car in December in a parking lot near Highway 99 and Herndon Avenue. (GV Wire Composite)
Share with friends


A 19-year veteran of the Fresno Police Department faces DUI, drug possession, and robbery charges, Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp said at a Wednesday morning news conference.

Sgt. Donald J. Dinnell came under scrutiny after he crashed his patrol car in December in a parking lot near Highway 99 and Herndon Avenue.

“It’s not the job of a sergeant to steal drugs from victims,” said Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama, who led the news conference with Smittcamp.

Responding personnel initially thought that perhaps Dinnell was the victim of accidental fentanyl ingestion. He was treated with Narcan and taken to a hospital.

Crash Details

The crash occurred after a request for service from Target came into the police department, said Balderrama. With other officers busy on higher priority calls, Dinnell rolled to the store.

According to Balderrama, Dinnell tested positive for methamphetamine. Balderrama also said an investigation revealed that Dinnell took meth from a woman in a suspected robbery. The sergeant has been on administrative leave since the crash.

DA Reviewing Dinnell’s Cases

Smittcamp said that her office has begun looking into Dinnell’s cases.

“We will be looking in-depth at the details of all the cases that he has been involved in and would potentially be called as a witness on, and we will be examining those on a case-by-case basis,” the district attorney said.

However, as a supervisor, Smittcamp noted, he wasn’t often called on to testify in court.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

Continue Reading
Advertisement GVwire