YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

2 Disciplined in Activist's Injury

November 11, 1987|From Times Wire Services

CONCORD, Calif. — The Navy disciplined two top officers at the Concord Naval Weapons Station over an incident in which a peace activist was run over by a train during a protest.

Capt. Lonnie Cagle, the commander of the weapons station has been given "a punitive letter of admonition" for "negligently" failing to assure the safety of demonstrators during the Sept. 1 incident at the base, a Navy spokesman said Tuesday.

Cmdr. Clayton Ching, the public works officer in charge of the train at the naval station, was given a more severe "letter of reprimand" for not properly supervising and training the train crews in safe operation, he said.

Brian Willson, a veteran of the Vietnam conflict, lost his legs when the Navy train failed to stop as he lay on the tracks. Willson was among a group of demonstrators protesting weapons shipments from the base.

The Contra Costa County district attorney has cleared the Navy of criminal wrongdoing in the accident.

Cagle and Ching will not lose any pay or be reduced in rank as a result of the "administrative evaluation" given in Washington by Vice Adm. William Rouden, the commander of Naval Sea Systems Commmand, the spokesman said.

The letters, however, will remain a permanent part of their personnel files, the spokesman said, and will affect their future promotions and careers.

The Navy also concluded that Willson and his fellow protesters deliberately violated state law by obstructing the tracks as the train approached, the spokesman said.

Los Angeles Times Articles