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SANTA ANA : Fired Officer Pleads Innocent in Shooting

January 22, 1992|MARK I. PINSKY

A former Long Beach police officer pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Superior Court to charges that he shot a motorist in Fountain Valley during a traffic dispute.

Alan B. Ice, 45, of Fountain Valley was arraigned on felony charges of assault with a firearm and discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle, which could result in a 10-year prison term if he is convicted. Trial for Ice, who is free on his own recognizance, was set for Jan. 31.

Ice is accused of wounding Neil Cramer, 36, a Santa Ana carpenter, on Sept. 28, 1991, after a confrontation. Cramer, who was accompanied in his truck by his fiancee and his 11-year-old daughter, said the incident began when he swerved to avoid a fallen cyclist. At a traffic light, he said, he and Ice exchanged words.

Ice has maintained that at the light he saw Cramer reaching for something. Fearing for his own safety, Ice pulled out his 9-millimeter handgun, which discharged accidentally as he tried to leave the scene, he said.

The bullet struck Cramer's shoulder, collapsing a lung and lodging near his heart. He was released from the hospital several days later.

In November, Ice, a 21-year veteran of the force, was fired by the Long Beach Police Department for firing his weapon "intentionally and without justification."

The dismissal letter, signed by the department's assistant chief and the city's assistant city manager, also charged that Ice was "unnecessarily armed" at the time of the traffic dispute and was "unnecessarily involved in a traffic dispute."

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