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Off-Duty Officer Allegedly Flashes His Gun in Anger

City of Orange puts rookie on leave while investigating report of dispute in an L.A. hospital over care of his mother.

October 02, 2000|ALEX KATZ | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A rookie Orange police officer has been placed on administrative leave after allegedly flashing a handgun during an argument with employees at a Panorama City hospital, authorities said.

The 24-year-old officer was off duty when he allegedly displayed a handgun in his waistband "in a threatening manner" during a confrontation Saturday evening with a nurse at Kaiser Permanente hospital, according to a Los Angeles Police Department report.

The officer was reportedly upset over the medical treatment his mother was receiving. His name was not released.

Los Angeles police confiscated the officer's gun but did not take him into custody.

"The nurse did not want to make a private citizen's arrest, so he was not arrested," said L.A. police spokeswoman Charlotte Broughton. "We notified his department, and any action they take is up to them."

The Orange Police Department is investigating the incident, Capt. Art Romo said. "We do take the allegations very seriously."

Romo said the officer is a recent graduate of the police academy. He is in his probationary period, which normally lasts for a year after graduation, Romo said.

The .45-caliber pistol taken from the officer was not issued by the Orange Police Department, but the man had a legal right to carry it off duty, Romo said.

Romo said the department cannot release any information about the officer's disciplinary record. The officer will remain on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation, Romo said.

Kaiser Permanente spokeswoman Lisa Kort said Saturday's incident was apparently the first of its kind at the hospital.

"We've had nothing as far as someone pulling out a gun," she said. "[But] it was handled calmly."

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