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Police Lt. Charged in Shotgun Blast at Witness's Truck

July 30, 1987|RICHARD HOLGUIN | Times Staff Writer

A Huntington Park police lieutenant, who faces trial for allegedly slashing the tires of a South Gate businessman, was arrested again this week after the businessman's unoccupied pickup truck was fired upon with a shotgun, police said.

Lt. David Hood, 45, was charged in Los Angeles Municipal Court Wednesday with intimidating a witness with the threat of force or violence, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Steven A. Sowders, chief of the special investigations division. Conviction on the felony charge could carry a penalty of four years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.

Hood was in custody Wednesday at Los Angeles County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail, a Sheriff's Department spokesman said. He was arrested early Monday at his Downey home. Police found a shotgun and a department-issued gun in Hood's car, said Downey acting Police Chief Pete Stone.

PU 4th graf: Hood was on a stress-related ...

Hood was on a stress-related leave from the Huntington Park Police Department since November, but he had received medical clearance to return to work beginning Monday--the day he was arrested, said Craig Robinson, assistant city administrator of Huntington Park.

Hood was suspended without pay after his arrest Monday, and an internal investigation into the old and new allegations is continuing, Robinson said.

The lieutenant was to be interviewed at the department Monday morning and a decision was to have been made whether he would assume his full duties pending trial on the previous misdemeanor charges against him, Huntington Park police Capt. Martin Simonoff said.

Businessman Ronald Mobley was in his La Habra home at 12:10 a.m. Monday when the shotgun blast hit the tailgate and rear window of his pickup truck, which was in the driveway, La Habra police Capt. John Rees said. "Whoever fired it left," Rees said.

A short time before, Downey police received a call from Hood's wife that her husband "was acting strangely, that he had a weapon," Stone said. But Hood was gone when officers arrived, he said.

Downey police staked out Hood's house after La Habra police notified them of the shooting, and initially arrested Hood on suspicion of drunken driving, Stone said.

Hood faces trial Aug. 27 in Los Angeles Municipal Court on three misdemeanor charges stemming from an altercation Aug. 25, 1986, at Mobley's South Gate business, Accurate Weld Testing Laboratories. Hood's wife, Marilyn, had quit working for Mobley shortly before the tire-slashing incident occurred.

The lieutenant is accused of slashing the tires of Mobley's motor home and threatening Mobley with a knife and a gun before driving away. He also is accused of falsely reporting to Downey police that he had been attacked at his home by Mobley. He allegedly said Mobley broke the windshield and side window of his pickup truck and fled.

Hood told Downey police that he had had numerous problems with Mobley after his wife quit working for Mobley.

Each of the three charges carries a possible maximum penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Hood had been free on his own recognizance when Monday's shooting occurred.

The arrest of Hood is the latest in a series of incidents plaguing the 62-member Huntington Park Police Department.

The Huntington Park City Council last month fired Police Chief Geano Contessotto because "the council felt that only replacement of the department head could return the city to its prior stability," Mayor Thomas E. Jackson said at the time of the firing.

Former officers William J. Lustig and Robert Rodriguez face trial Aug. 10 in Superior Court on charges of felony assault for allegedly using a stun gun to torture a juvenile they had arrested and were questioning.

In addition, the district attorney's office is investigating several allegations against the department, ranging from excessive force by officers to faulty record keeping, Sowders said. That report is to be released in the next week.

The Police Department also is the subject of several lawsuits alleging brutality.

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