Jeffrey Perrotte, who slammed drunk into Jilly Rizzo's car and then fled the scene, vows to be an example of alcohol abuse's deadly consequences. Foes of his bid for freedom cite crime's horror
By Scott Kraft, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Rancho Mirage —Jilly Rizzo had spent hours preparing for his 75th birthday party, a soiree the next day that was to include his friend Frank Sinatra and other Rat Pack luminaries. A few minutes after midnight, he got into a white Jaguar and headed for his girlfriend's house.
As his car slowly crossed Gerald Ford Drive, Rizzo probably didn't see the Mercedes blazing down the rain-slick street. The driver was Jeffrey Perrotte, a 28-year-old alcoholic, a local man with a rap sheet of DUIs who had the papers for court-ordered alcohol rehabilitation sitting in the glove box of his car.
The Mercedes struck the right side of Rizzo's car, which burst into flames. Perrotte climbed out of the Mercedes and did something that is hard to imagine, even nearly two decades later: He ran home as Rizzo burned to death.
Los Angeles Times