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News Release

Tuesday, September 19, 2000

Media Relations

Young Heroic LAPD Officer Dies in the Line of Duty

Wednesday, September 20, 2000

San Pedro: On Tuesday, September 19, 2000 at approximately 2:30 a.m., Officer Robert "Bobby" Mata and his partner, Officer Sonny Patsenhann, were responding to a back-up request from a fellow officer who was involved with a stolen vehicle investigation with a suspect.

While enroute to the call, eastbound on John S. Gibson Boulevard approaching Figueroa Street, Officer Mata lost control of his police vehicle and collided with a cement light post. Both Officer Mata and Officer Patsenhann were trapped in their vehicle. Responding officers were able to remove Officer Patsenhann from the vehicle but unfortunately, were unable to do the same for Officer Mata. The Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics responded to the location and extricated Officer Mata from the vehicle and immediately began life saving procedures. Hospital staff at Harbor UCLA Medical Center feverishly worked to save Officer Mata but was unsuccessful. Officer Patsenhann escaped serious injuries and was treated and released from the hospital.

Officer Mata is survived by his wife Holly and two children, Kalei, 5 years of age, and Pi-ilani, 2 years of age. Officer Mata, who has been with the Department for 5 years, was assigned to the Harbor Special Enforcement Unit Gang Detail and was known to all for his hard work, dedication, and commitment to public service. His untimely death at 26 years of age, came as a result of his commitment to serving the community.

Our sympathies go out to Officer Mata's parents, Robert and Josie, his wife, Holly, and his two young children; one of who celebrated her birthday yesterday.

For further information, please contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section.

For Release 5:00 pm PDT
September 19, 2000