SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo was arrested in Menlo Park for public drunkenness Sunday night and released less than twelve hours later, despite being wanted in his home country in connection with Latin America’s biggest bribery scandal.
“Mr. Toledo was causing a disturbance at a local restaurant and they had asked him to leave and he refused,” said San Mateo County Sheriff’s Det. Rosemerry Blankswade.
Toledo is accused of taking $20 million in bribes from a construction firm in exchange for public contracts. He was president of Peru from 2001 to 2006. Peruvian authorities have offered a $30,000 reward for his capture.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Toledo was arrested by deputies in Menlo Park at the Dutch Goose.
But Blankswade said he was released and his charge dropped Monday morning, which is typical after that type of misdemeanor charge.
“For people who are cooperative and compliant, especially while in our custody, a lot of times basic misdemeanor public charges can be dropped,” said Blankswade.
She said, however, deputies alerted Peruvian officials and the International Criminal Police that they had him in custody.
“According to Interpol, it was not enough to continue to house him in our facility so we would’ve been holding him against his civil rights,” she said.
He was released from jail at 9 a.m. Monday.
Toledo, who resides in Los Altos, has worked at Stanford University as a visiting scholar.
He has denied any wrongdoing in the bribery scheme.
Brian Heaps, a regular at Dutch Goose, said he was at Dutch Goose on St. Patrick’s Day, but didn’t see Toledo.
“Well, I think he’s gotta pay the price,” Heaps said. “I hope he gets what’s coming to him.”