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  • Ranger fatally shoots man at Tapia Park

    A California state park ranger shot and killed a man Saturday afternoon at Tapia Park in the hills above Malibu, authorities said.

    The incident occurred about 3 p.m. as several people were being detained for questioning. One person drove his vehicle directly toward the ranger, who fired his weapon in self-defense, said Malibu-sector State Park Supt. Al Pepito. The man's identity was not available.

    (LATimes)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A man was fatally shot by a ranger investigating reports of gunfire Saturday in a state park, officials said.

    The ranger entered Tapia Park after a visitor to the adjacent Malibu Creek Sate Park reported hearing gunshots fired at around 3:00 p.m., California State Parks Superintendent Al Pepito said.

    The ranger saw a car heading in his direction on a park road, and got out of his own vehicle to flag it down, Pepito said.

    The car's driver ignored the command and continued toward the ranger, he said.

    "At that time, in fear of his safety, he drew his weapon and fired one shot," which killed the driver, Pepito said.

    Three passengers in the car fled. Two were apprehended by sheriff's deputies, who were holding them for investigation. Authorities were searching for the third, Pepito said.

    It was unknown whether the reported gunfire was connected to the passengers in the car, he said.

    The ranger would remain on duty pending further investigation, Pepito said.

    (Fresno Bee)
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


  • #2
    I recall when Park Rangers were led kicking and screaming into Law Enforcement. Before, they were nature guides.

    They didn't want to give up being semi-hippies to become cops.

    Comment


    • #3
      Since when did they have to give up their long hair? In Mississippi they still have hair down to mid back, long full beards. I know this because I had to run up to Jackson the other day and saw them at the gas station. They were dressed in green uniform pants and with a beige colored uniform shirt,badge, duty belt and one even had a pony-tail. But then again they are stationed in Mississippi.
      Last edited by Sixthscent; 08-05-2007, 08:53 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        1 shot, 1 kill

        Doesn't sound like a Hippie to me
        -918-

        Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18

        Clinging to my guns and religion since 1975

        Comment


        • #5
          With all the controversy laid on LAPD and other So. California law enforcement agencies regarding shooting at moving vehicles (vs jumping out of the way), it's going to be interesting seeing if the press is going to jump on this or give the department a pass. The Park Rangers are about as "touchy feely" as you can get and do everything they can to avoid a conventional LE image. I'm not sure about the California Park Rangers' level of peace officer status/training, but the Rangers working for the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy area have very limited qualifications. It's been a while since I've been up to Tapia Park (as a kid I used to catch tadpoles there), but I thought the area was part of SMMC now.
          "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

          Comment


          • #6
            California State Park rangers are full peace officers, and have good training. They seem to train quite often on defensive tactics and firearms.
            Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

            I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by pulicords View Post
              ...but the Rangers working for the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy area have very limited qualifications. It's been a while since I've been up to Tapia Park (as a kid I used to catch tadpoles there), but I thought the area was part of SMMC now.
              Just as a side note, nowhere in the Penal Code will you find peace officer authority for SMMC. Instead, the SMMC police are possibly one of the longest running, undetected cases of police impersonation in Southern California. It is probably one of the more amusing cases of the politically powerful running amuck. Here's what happened.

              The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy is a state agency. The majority of their land holdings are in Los Angeles County. Next door in Ventura County is the Conejo Valley Park District (or some similar name). Their land picks up where SMMC's ends. Conejo Valley is a local agency and under the Penal Code, they are authorized to employ peace officers to protect their park district.

              Back in the 1980's, the guy that ran the SMMC was very pro-police but he was also a bit of a dingbat. He entered SMMC into a joint powers agreement with Conejo Valley. He erroneously believed that because of this joint powers agreement, SMMC was now authorized to create its own police force and employ its own peace officers. (SMMC Can't. Under PC 830.31(b) they must be employed by Conejo Valley and not SMMC to protect Conejo Valley and not SMMC property, but I digress.) In any case, the head of SMMC had lights and siren put on his car, bought himself a uniform, hired a couple of friends and did the same for them. Bingo - instant SMMC police. My agency became aware of several complaints against SMMC police back then ranging from hit and run involving an SMMC vehicle to various personnel complaints. We referred the complaining parties to the AG but never heard anything more. I guess its just one of those cases where, if the BS is strong enough, everyone believes it. Think about it for a minute - if the car has SMMC Police written all over it, has lights, siren, exempt plates, and a 10-28 comes back to SMMC, are you going to see if they are in 830 of the Penal Code? And if they are not, what are you going to do? Hook them up on the spot? No one wants to touch it because its a can of worms that has existed for so long and at such a high level in state government.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #8
                I have never heard of Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy or Conejo Valley Conservancy. Closest thing I have seen is United Water Conservation District who provide rangers for Lake Piru but I have never even seen those guys.

                As for the CSP ranger, I don't blame him. I have a buddy who is a dispatcher at the NORCOMM Riverside center. He reminds me that there is very little back up and radio reception 50% of the time. You have to be on your feet and ready to take action with a job like that. Especially when you are dealing with drunken campers all the time.
                "Get this and get it straight! Crime is a sucker's road and those who travel it wind up in the gutter, the prison, or the grave. There's no other end. They never learn."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ejay View Post
                  I have never heard of Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy or Conejo Valley Conservancy.
                  SMMC's website can be found here: http://smmc.ca.gov/

                  Don't know about Conejo Valley. Never had any direct dealings with them - only SMMC.
                  Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ejay View Post
                    As for the CSP ranger, I don't blame him. I have a buddy who is a dispatcher at the NORCOMM Riverside center. He reminds me that there is very little back up and radio reception 50% of the time. You have to be on your feet and ready to take action with a job like that. Especially when you are dealing with drunken campers all the time.

                    Not to mention illegal hunters, and poachers.

                    There have been several line-of-duty deaths involving national and state rangers over the past few years.
                    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think Conejo Valley is the Ventura County Parks Department. They have "Park Service Rangers" who are peace officers and run red and blues on big Dodge trucks. Conejo Valley isn't a city. As you may know, it is an area of Ventura County which has incorporated and unincorporated areas.
                      "Get this and get it straight! Crime is a sucker's road and those who travel it wind up in the gutter, the prison, or the grave. There's no other end. They never learn."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This site glosses over the law enforcement powers of the SMMC. Apparently they are trying to operate under federal mandate to some extent.

                        http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cacode...000-33010.html
                        Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                        [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It looks as if the "joint powers" go further then just one agency.

                          Joint Powers Authorities
                          A joint powers entity is a public agency created pursuant to the Joint Exercise of Powers Act that allows two or more government agencies to combine forces by jointly exercising their powers with respect to a specific purpose or set of objectives. The Conservancy has joined with various government entities to forge these partnerships with the intent of working cooperatively to preserve public parkland.

                          The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy is a member of seven joint powers authorities. These joint powers authorities function as legally separate government entities with their own governing boards. Central to their success is the ability to complement the work of other organizations protecting land in the Southern California mountains by using unique techniques to acquire and improve open space and parklands, affording educational opportunities, and providing stewardship for a wide variety of public park and open space resources.

                          Baldwin Hills Regional Conservation Authority
                          Desert and Mountain Conservation Authority
                          Eastern Ventura County Conservation Authority
                          Mountains Conservation & Education Authority
                          Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority
                          Santa Clarita Watershed Recreation & Conservation Authority
                          Whittier-Puente Hills Conservation Authority
                          Wildlife Corridor Conservation Authority
                          In an area like that, I am sure they have butt heads with California Sate Parks.

                          This is a bit confusing. Part of their joint authority is the MRCA. The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority have law enforcement rangers but they too claim to be in joint authority with others as well. This link help some but it is still confusing. http://www.preserveopenspace.org/faqs.html

                          The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a joint
                          powers authority of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Conejo
                          Recreation and Park District, and the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park
                          District. Created in 1985, its mission is to create and maintain parkland and
                          preserve open space within the Santa Monica Mountains, the mountains
                          surrounding the San Fernando, La Crescenta, Simi and Conejo Valleys, and
                          the Los Angeles River and its tributaries. In addition to operating all
                          Conservancy parks, it provides acquisition and legal services, planning and
                          natural resources expertise, operations and ranger services, construction
                          and special event services, and education and interpretation programs.
                          The rangers are sworn California Peace Officersand patrol theproperties. They have the authority to issue citations and make arrests.All the rangers are trained wildland firefighters.Their trucks are set up asType 6 Fire Patrols. They carry personal protective gear and apparatus along
                          with 200 gallons of water and 5 gallons of foam. The rangers can extinguish
                          small fires on their own and are a vital part of the incident command system
                          on larger fires.Rangers are also trainedin the following:• Emergency Medical Service Providers• Search and Rescue• Swift Water Rescue• Flood Rescue First RespondersThe rangers have 25 Mounted Assisted Unit volunteers(onhorseback) and are currently implementing a bicycle unit. They are trainedin first aid and C.P.R. They provide additional patrol for the rangers in the
                          back country and assist in medical aids, interpretation, and search and
                          rescue efforts.
                          I had no idea there were so many seperate ranger entities in LA and Ventura Counties.

                          interesting: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/16/1683.asp

                          http://www.mrca.ca.gov/5-11-05ordinanceWEBvERSION.pdf

                          It seems like the MRCA is a lot like SMMC. But it looks like they enforce more of thier own rules then state and federal laws.
                          Last edited by ejay; 08-05-2007, 05:27 PM. Reason: supplimental
                          "Get this and get it straight! Crime is a sucker's road and those who travel it wind up in the gutter, the prison, or the grave. There's no other end. They never learn."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If I remember correctly there was an article a while back in the Daily News or LA Times on how the SMMC was going to set up traffic cameras on places in Topanga Canyon to catch people running stop signs. They swore it was legal and would stand up in court. Sounded like a money making venture from what the article described. When is that last time they worked a TC? LASD and CHP both do an excellent job patrolling those areas.

                            In the Topanga/Maliibu Creek area it is a mix of conservancy, state, and federal land. As others have said, the state park rangers have full peace officer status. And the NPS Rangers attend a full length academy at FLETC (except the seasonal protection rangers who have a much more training than a basic PC832). I'm not sure if the SMMC just attend a basic PC832 or what? Anybody have some insight on this?

                            A while back I did see one of the SMMC rangers broken down along the side of the road in the valley off Ventura Boulevard. The ranger was carrying a revolver. In these areas revolvers are a rare commidity when it comes to being the primary sidearm of uniformed officers. The only other ones I see wearing them are off-duty LAPD officers (some who look REALLY old) working movie sets...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              From the LA Times this morning, apparently the family is now disputing the events surrounding the shooting. It was also revealed the individual who was shot, was released from state prison less than a year ago. And of course the family has hired an attorney "to explore legal options."

                              +++++++++++++

                              Family disputes details of officer-involved shooting
                              A brother and sister of a man killed by a park ranger near Malibu say the man's companions deny that he had refused to stop when ordered to.
                              By Ari B. Bloomekatz
                              Times Staff Writer

                              August 6, 2007

                              Family members and authorities differed sharply Sunday in their portrayal of what happened when a man was shot and killed by a park ranger in Tapia Park near Malibu.

                              Officials said the man, Onesimo Arturo Guzman, threatened the ranger's life at the park Saturday. But the slain man's siblings accused the ranger of shooting their brother "in cold blood."

                              After gunshots were reported in the hills of Tapia Park on Saturday, a ranger who responded saw Guzman, 29, in a car with three other men, California Parks and Recreation spokesman Roy Stearns said at a news conference at the park on Sunday.

                              Stearns said the ranger repeatedly asked Guzman to stop the car, but Guzman continued moving, bumping one of the ranger's legs with the vehicle.

                              The ranger, who believed that his life was in danger, shot and killed Guzman around 3 p.m. Officials did not provide further details of the shooting but said the ranger had been placed on paid administrative leave.

                              But Guzman's younger siblings came to the park service's news conference and told a different story.

                              Joe Guzman, 24, the dead man's brother, said Guzman had gone to the park with his friends to relax.

                              Joe Guzman said that one of his brother's three passengers called him to tell him how his brother was shot.

                              He believes Guzman did stop his car when the ranger asked him to.

                              The ranger was banging on the hood of the car and acting extremely nervous, fumbling with the instruments on his vest and belt while he tried to talk with the men, Joe Guzman said.

                              Onesimo Arturo Guzman raised his hands and asked the ranger "What are we doing?" and then the officer shot him, his younger brother said. The three other men in the car, fearing for their lives, jumped out and began running away, Joe Guzman said.

                              "They just destroyed our family," said Krystal Guzman, 20, who had effectively taken over the news conference, demanding information from officials, such as "Did the suspect receive medical aid at that moment?" and "What is the procedure to inform the family?"

                              Guzman's siblings pleaded for any witnesses to come forward with more information.

                              Authorities Sunday said they had little information about the shooting but said the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was conducting a homicide investigation and the California Department of Parks and Recreation was also looking into the case.

                              The three other men in Guzman's car were chased by authorities, taken briefly into custody and released, said California Department of Parks and Recreation District Supt. Ronald P. Schafer, who attended the news conference with Stearns.

                              The ranger who shot Guzman did not have to be hospitalized or treated for any injuries, authorities said.

                              "There's a lot that we still don't know," Stearns said.

                              Stearns and Schafer deflected most questions Sunday about the details of the shooting, saying it was too early in their investigation to know.

                              The investigations would be thorough and complete, Stearns said.

                              Joe and Krystal Guzman hugged each other as they grieved over their brother's death.

                              They said they drove to the news conference at Malibu Creek State Park from their home in South Los Angeles because they wanted to demand answers.

                              The siblings said they planned to get an attorney to investigate further and explore legal options.

                              Their brother had been released from prison about eight months earlier, Joe Guzman said.

                              "He had been in too much trouble," Guzman said about his brother. "He never wanted to go back to prison."


                              Court records show that an Onesimo Arturo Guzman with the same birth date as the one provided by Guzman's family had been convicted of assaulting a peace officer, resisting arrest and stealing a vehicle.

                              Family members said Guzman had recently served a sentence of about five years.


                              He had tried to turn his life around, working with his father at a welding shop and attending community college in Long Beach with hopes of becoming an electrician, they said.

                              Comment

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