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Mayoral candidate disputes drunk driving charges

A Santa Ramona mayoral candidate facing a raft of charges after a drunk driving incident claims it wasn't her behind the wheel, despite police audio proving otherwise. Santa Ramona police confirmed Monday that mayoral candidate Aria de Saragosa faces charges following a hit-and-run incident which sparked a police chase through downtown earlier this month. She is charged with disturbing the peace, driving under the influence, aggravated assault and intimidation of a witness. A black GMC Yukon registered to her remains in police possession as the district attorney processes the case. "That's what they are saying, but you know how the police are sometimes, stretching the truth to get the arrest," said De Saragosa, a self-styled democratic socialist. Alleging that police are mistaken in charging her, she claimed her SUV was stolen. I was at home when this supposedly happened. I called when I realized my truck was missing," she alleged. But audio recorded by the police dispatchers contradicts her assertion. "She was trying to call in that her car was stolen. That might have worked for her if she wasn't driving when she called 911, and then crashed the car so that 911 recorded the sound of a car crashing," said Police Chief Sarina Jade. "I just hope she learned her lesson and this doesn't happen again. She could have seriously hurt someone or herself." De Saragosa will appear Tuesday at 3 p.m. in a special court session to answer to the charges. In a rambling interview, De Saragosa claimed the crash sounds and the dropped call were because she was at home watching a movie. She claimed her phone drops calls when movies play car crash sound effects. "Oh, yes, it happens often," she said. The assault and intimidation charges, she said, came because her husband "misspoke to an officer, saying that I had shot him. In reality, it was another Mexican woman who likes me. He will attest to this in court." She said, "I stand wrongfully accused. This could happen to any of them. It happens disproportionately to minorities, you know." Calls to the Democratic Socialists of America's California office and head office were not returned. De Saragosa is running against defense attorney Ren Aquila, club manager Ryo Kang-Sin, Jackson the dog and Maris Patel.