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Ex-S.F. Police Chief's Son Arrested

March 27, 2004|From Associated Press

The son of San Francisco's former police chief was arrested in Arizona after allegedly getting into a drunken argument with his father, who also was briefly handcuffed when he tried to persuade officers to stay out of the family's affairs, authorities said.

Alex Fagan Jr., the son of former San Francisco Police Chief Alex Fagan, was jailed Thursday night after the altercation at a Scottsdale hotel, where he allegedly threatened to kill two security guards and fought their efforts to restrain him, said Scottsdale police spokesman Sam Bailey.

A November 2002 street brawl involving the younger Fagan was at the center of a short-lived scandal involving the San Francisco Police Department's top brass last year. Alex Fagan Jr. was a rookie officer when he and two other officers were arrested for an off-duty fight with two men over a bag of fajitas.

The incident became known as "fajitagate" after a grand jury last year indicted the elder Fagan, then an assistant chief; then-Police Chief Earl Sanders; and five other high-ranking officials on charges of conspiracy to cover up the fight. The charges eventually were dropped.

Thursday's incident at the Scottsdale Suites started at 8:30 p.m., when Alex Fagan Jr. and his father carried their noisy argument from the hotel restaurant to a balcony. When the staff arrived, the elder Fagan "removed himself," Bailey said, while the son grew more agitated. "In a loud and boisterous way -- he had obviously been drinking too much -- he smashed out an exit sign and damaged an ashtray stand," Bailey said. "And as they approached him, he started to yell at them, said he was going to kill them, leave him alone."

When police arrived, the elder Fagan allegedly told officers that he was a police chief. "He says this is all a big misunderstanding, he can handle it, no need to make it a police situation," Bailey said. The elder Fagan, who now serves as director of San Francisco's department of emergency services, was briefly handcuffed "just so they could control the situation," Bailey said.

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