Former game exec arrested in Ferrari crash

A former senior executive with handheld game maker Gizmondo has been arrested on suspicion of grand theft in connection with a mysterious car crash that destroyed a rare $1 million Ferrari.

Stefan Eriksson, 44, was arrested at his Bel-Air, Calif., home Saturday night after detectives served a search warrant, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. Eriksson, who was being held without bail, also had an immigration hold placed on him, authorities said.

According to news reports, Eriksson, a former senior executive at the Swedish game maker, was in a red 2003 Ferrari Enzo that was traveling at about 160 mph when it struck a pole and disintegrated on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Calif., in February. Eriksson, who resigned from Gizmondo last year, suffered only a cut lip.

Ferrari Enzo
Credit: Declan McCullagh
A Ferrari Enzo similar to the
one that crashed.

When police arrived on the scene, they found Eriksson bleeding from the mouth. Eriksson originally told authorities he was a passenger in the car and that the driver, a German acquaintance he knew only as Dietrich, ran into the nearby hills after the crash. Dietrich was never found.

Eriksson reportedly had a blood alcohol content level of 0.09, just over the legal limit of 0.08. Both airbags deployed, but blood was found only on the driver's side airbag, leading officials to question the existence of Dietrich.

At the time, Swedish newspaper The Local reported that the Enzo was allegedly street-racing with a Mercedes Benz SLR, valued at more than half a million dollars. Last month, police impounded a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren driven by Eriksson's wife after learning that the vehicle may have been improperly exported from Britain.

Gizmondo Europe went bankrupt after the handheld failed miserably in retail. Its future in the U.S. remains uncertain.