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Local News in Brief : Officers Cleared in Killing of Crash Victim

October 01, 1987

A Ventura Police Department internal investigation has cleared two officers who fatally shot a Baldwin Park man after he allegedly pointed a gun at them.

Friends and relatives of Jose Hernandez, 33, said he left his Baldwin Park home for Ventura Sept. 18 to "relax on the beach and look for a new car," said Ventura Police Lt. Pat Rooney.

After arriving in Ventura, Hernandez apparently felt ill and sought help at Community Memorial Hospital. Doctors there determined Hernandez needed a psychiatric evaluation and sent him to a county mental health services clinic, accompanied by a registered nurse, said Michael Bakst, the hospital's executive director.

Later that day, Hernandez crashed his car through a guard rail and went down an embankment off the southbound side of the Ventura Freeway near Johnson Drive.

Hernandez gave one man who came to his aid an envelope with $3,500 in cash, but used a gun to threaten others who tried to help him.

Two Ventura police officers--patrolmen Ralph Michaels and Bryan Roberts--who arrived at the scene of the accident shot Hernandez after he drew his gun on them, Rooney said.

Officials at the Ventura County Department of Mental Health Services would not comment on the case, citing confidentiality regulations.

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