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Policeman Takes Aim at Crime, but Misfires in School Lecture

March 28, 1985|JERRY BELCHER | Times Staff Writer

A veteran Los Angeles Police Department officer may face disciplinary action because he ended his lecture in a junior high school classroom with a bang.

He accidentally fired a single shot into the wall of a Dana Junior High School classroom as he wound up a lecture series to 7th graders on drug abuse.

No one was injured.

A police spokeswoman said the officer thought the .38-caliber revolver was unloaded.

"He was showing the technique of aiming a pistol, aiming at a blank wall away from the students," said Richard Schwartz, principal of the San Pedro school. "One round went 'bang.' All the indications I have are that the bullet did not go in the direction of the students."

He said that Officer Harreld D. Webster "was devastated" by the accident and that he immediately left the classroom to telephone a report of the incident to his superiors.

Police spokeswoman Margie Mastro said the incident, which occurred Tuesday, will be investigated by the Juvenile Division, which runs the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. It will send its recommendations to the department's Use-of-Force Review Board.

She said Webster, 46, a member of the department for 23 years, could be disciplined with anything from a reprimand to suspension.

Schwartz praised Webster for having established "excellent rapport" with students during his weekly lectures over the last six weeks.

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