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California Briefing / San Diego

Officer cleared in dancer's shooting

February 28, 2009|Tony Perry

The district attorney Friday cleared a Harbor Patrol officer of any criminal liability in the fatal shooting in July of a male dancer who went overboard during a party cruise in San Diego Bay.

Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis said that Steven Paul Hirschfield, 37, of Los Angeles, was "acting bizarrely" when he was pulled aboard a Harbor Patrol boat.

Officers attempted to subdue him with a Taser but, in a struggle, one of the officers felt Hirschfield was about to grab his gun. Another officer, Clyde Williams, was justified in using deadly force to protect himself and fellow officer Wayne Schmidt, Dumanis said.

Hirschfield had a history of drug arrests and resisting arrest, Dumanis said. A dancer, he was providing entertainment for a gathering aboard a commercial cruise ship when he jumped or fell overboard. Tests showed that he had steroids and amphetamines in his system.

-- Tony Perry

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