ROCKVILLE – A local man charged with vehicular manslaughter for killing a local police officer is in jail under a $250,000 bond.
Maryland State’s Attorney John McCarthy announced the indictment of Luis Gustavo Reluzco on Feb. 12 after police charged Reluzco with vehicular manslaughter in the death of Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta.
McCarthy said Reluzco is facing up to 10 years in prison.
Police charged Reluzco with manslaughter by a vehicle and failure to make a lane change or slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle on a highway.
According to McCarthy, County Circuit Court Judge Robert Greenberg set a $250,000 bond for Reluzco. Greenberg also set the conditions for the bond which ban Reluzco from driving and force him to surrender his passport.
Greenberg also ordered Reluzco not to distribute alcohol or take drugs.
“Because he had worked previously as a bartender, it was indicated in open court that he was ordered not to be allowed to serve alcohol to anyone else. He was also ordered not to take any drugs of any type except if they are by prescription,” McCarthy said.
Reluzco’s wife co-signed his bond.
According to County Police spokesperson Natasha Plotinkov, Reluzco turned himself in to the County Sheriff’s Office at approximately 1:05 p.m., accompanied by his attorney John Roth.
Roth said he advised Reluzco to turn himself in to the authorities.
“It just shows that you’re cooperating to a certain extent and you’re not waiting for them to come in and see,” Roth said.
Roth noted Reluzco had no convictions before this case although he police charged him with reckless driving in Delaware in 1990.
“Technically, he has no prior convictions, but he did get a probation before judge, which the court treats as a prior,” Roth said.
County Police Chief Thomas Manger said investigators determined police arrested Reluzco at least three times before on account of alcohol-related offenses.
“I believe this is a case of an individual who displayed an absolute indifference for the lives and safety of drivers on the road,” Manger said.
Manger also called the penalties in Maryland against drunken drivers “disgraceful” and said it is time for the General Assembly to treat drunken driven “seriously” by stiffening penalties for offenders.
Leotta’s father Richard Leotta called Reluzco “reckless and irresponsible.
“He’s not somebody that cares about anybody else on the road. All he cared about was having drinks and getting drunk. All he wanted to do was get his high or whatever he’s doing,” Richard Leotta said.
Richard Leotta said Reluzco has not reached out to talk with the Leotta family.
“That’s not somebody that’s very sympathetic,” Richard Leotta said.