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News Release

Wednesday, December 1, 1999

Media Relations

District Attorney's Office Files Charges on LAPD Officer

Wednesday, December 1, 1999

On November 19, 1999, the District Attorney's Office, Special Investigation Section, filed felony charges against Los Angeles Police Officer Arthur Rodriguez, Serial No. 26255. Rodriguez, an eleven-year veteran with the Department and thirty-two years of age, is currently assigned to Communications Division.

On April 21, 1997, Officer Rodriguez was assigned to Hollenbeck Area Patrol. Rodriguez and his partner had detained a fifteen-year-old boy and transported him to the Aliso Village Housing Project where he was released. Immediately upon the juvenile's release, a local gang member chased the fifteen-year-old and apprehended him nearby. Officer Rodriguez and his partner responded to the gang member and juveniles' location. Officer Rodriguez instructed the gang member to place the juvenile into the backseat of the police vehicle. Rodriguez then instructed the gang member to "check him," street vernacular for striking a person. The gang member struck the juvenile as he sat in the police vehicle. Rodriguez' partner intervened and detained the gang member, Officer Rodriguez advised his partner to release the gang member and then allowed the gang member to flee the scene. The officers then transported the juvenile to his residence. An LAPD supervisor was summoned to the scene and directed Rodriguez to complete an internal report to document the incident.

The Department's internal investigation resulted in Rodriguez being directed to a Board of Rights, which was adjourned in April of 1999. The three member Board, consisting of two command officers and one civilian, found Rodriguez guilty and he was suspended for ninety days. A minority opinion, made by a command officer, recommended that Rodriguez be terminated.

In November of 1997, the Department submitted the case to the District Attorney's Office for review. On November 19, 1999, the District Attorney's Office, Special Investigations Section, informed the Department that they were going to file felony charges against Rodriguez. Two felony counts were filed; 149 PC (assault by a public official) and 118.1 PC (peace officer filing a false report). The false report was the internal report that Officer Rodriguez prepared on the night of the incident.

Arrangements were made for Officer Rodriguez to surrender voluntarily. On December 1, 1999, at 8:00 AM, at the Municipal Court of Los Angeles, Rodriquez surrendered to the court and was released on $25,000.00 bail.

Any further questions contact LAPD Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.

This incident is not related to the current Rampart corruption investigation.

For Release 4:40 am PST
December 1, 1999