Monday, May 12, 2014

37 Annual Memorial Tourch Run Sunday May 18th ALD 7

Good Afternoon,

Please mark your calendars and join us on
Sunday, May 18th , 2:30PM,  at the  Altadena Sheriff’s
Station as we commemorate Police Memorial Week with the 37th Annual Memorial
Torch Run Relay.  

The runners will be running into Altadena
Station at approximately 2:30PM where we will conduct a short ceremony and have
food and beverages for all who come out to support us.


This year Altadena Station will be honoring
one of our own, Constable Anton Harnischfeger, who, through historical research
was discovered to have been killed while on duty while investigating a child
battery incident.  


deputies, families, friends, and supporters will be picking up the torch from
Crescenta Valley Station.  Runners should enter Altadena @ 2:00PM. We
would like to invite the public to cheer on the runners as they make their way
from Woodbury Road north onto N. Windsor Ave. and then east on Ventura St.,
north bound on Casitas Ave. to Altadena Dr. and then east bound to the Altadena
Sheriff's Station, where the run should end @2:30PM.


Please join us at the Altadena Sheriff’s Station back parking area for a short
ceremony honoring those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for the people of Los
Angeles County. Followed by some food and beverages

This is a special way to honor law enforcement and it is open to the public and
media. This year’s Memorial Torch Relay Run honors the following

  • Deputy
    Constable Adolofo Celis, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died
    April 18, 1883. 
    Celis was investigation claims of cattle rustling, in what is now the San
    Fernando Valley, when he was hit by a bullet as a rifle was dislodged when
    he adjusted a blanket on his buckboard.   
  • Constable
    Anton Harnischfeger, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died March
    20, 1889.
    Constable Harnischfeger was
    serving an arrest warrant, in what is now considered Altadena, on a
    suspect who assaulted a 15 year old girl earlier in the day.  As he
    knocked on the door of the suspect’s residence. The suspect opened the
    door, drew a handgun and fired a bullet into Constable Harnischfeger’s
    face.  The suspect fled, but was later tracked down and killed in a
    subsequent shoot out.
  • Deputy
    Constable Anthony Bryan Couts, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,
    died October 25, 1914.
    Couts was called to a rooming house in downtown LA to intervene in a
    business dispute between to property owners.  A tenant became
    involved and a heated argument ensued. Couts took hold of the tenant and
    told him he was taking him to the police station.  The suspect drew a
    handgun and shot Deputy Couts in the stomach.  He died from the
    gunshot wound the next morning.  The suspect was tried and convicted
    of manslaughter.
  • Constable
    John S. (Jack) Pilcher, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died June
    4, 1925.
    Constable Pilcher responded to
    Gage Ranch, in what is now Santa Clarita, to investigate a burglary. 
    Several items had been stolen but other items remained.  The
    Constable and his partner decided to spend the night at the location,
    believing the thieves would return.  The next morning they saw a
    large lizard run under the bed and both chased it, when the other deputy’s
    gun fell out of his holster, hit the ground and discharged. The round
    struck Constable Pilcher between the eyes and killed him instantly.
  • Deputy
    James L. McDermott, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died August
    26, 1931. 
    Deputy McDermott, a member of
    the Sheriff’s Robbery Detail, was at a service station in downtown Los
    Angeles getting gas.  As he exited his car, it began to roll away
    from the pumps due to a severe slope.  He jumped on the running board
    in an attempt to stop the vehicle from reentering traffic or damaging the
    station.  Seconds later he was impaled on a hook used to suspend a
    water hose.  The sharp point pierced his chest just below his
    heart.  He died in the ambulance as he was transported to the
  • Sergeant
    Raymond C. Willis, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died April 15,
    Sergeant Willis, assigned to
    the Crime Lab, as a polygraph technician, was flying in a small airplane
    as a observer with Sergeant/Pilot Vernon Corbeil to search for a downed
    plane near Malibu.  The plane experienced engine trouble and Corbeil
    attempted to land.  The plane scraped a ridge and burst into
    flames.  Both were killed. 
  • Sergeant
    Leonard Robert Luna, Jr., Hawthorne Police Department, died July 8,
    Sergeant Luna was traveling on
    the I-105 freeway en route to pick up his department issued motorcycle
    from the repair shop in Long Beach, when another vehicle struck his
    motorcycle causing him to suffer serious injuries.  He was
    transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
  • Officer
    Nicholas Choung Lee, Los Angeles Police Department, died March 7,
    Officer Lee and his partner
    were responding to a call when his patrol car collided with a commercial
    vehicle carrying a roll-off dumpster. His partner and the truck driver
    both suffered critical injuries.  Officer Lee was killed in the
  • Officer
    Christopher Cortijo, Los Angeles Police Department, died April 9,
    Officer Cortijo, a motor
    officer, was stopped at a red light, in front of a vehicle, when another
    vehicle struck him from behind.  The vehicle collided with rear of
    his motorcycle, crushing him and his motorcycle between the two
    vehicles.  Officer Cortijo was gravely injured.  He was
    transported to the hospital where he underwent several surgeries in an
    attempt to save his life.  Four days later he succumbed to his

The Memorial Torch Relay run was established in 1976 to honor the memory of
those brave, dedicated peace officers in Los Angeles County who have sacrificed
their lives in the performance of their duties.

This three day run consists of 56 legs with each leg approximately 5 to 10
miles in length and covering more than 300 miles. The memorial torch will pass
to each of the mainland sheriff’s stations throughout the county. Avalon
Station will conduct their relay on the island during the week. Over 3,000
runners, most of whom are peace officers run during their off duty time to
honor the lives of the fallen. The relay run will begin Friday morning, May 16
at the Sherman Block Sheriff’s Headquarters Building in Monterey Park and
travels to each mainland Los Angeles County Sheriff’s patrol station, ending at
our very own Altadena Sheriff Station on Sunday, May 18.  

The memorial torch
that the runners carry along the course will ultimately be used to light the
ceremonial flame at 10AM on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at the Los Angeles County
Peace Officers’ Memorial Wall at the STARS Center. The flame will be ignited in
tribute to the fallen officers. The Sheriff's Training Academy and Regional
Services Center (STARS Center) is located at 11515 S. Colima Rd, Whittier, CA
90604. The public and media are invited

"It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they

—Vivian Eney Cross, Survivor 


Captain John S. Benedict

Sheriff Station

Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

E. Altadena Dr.

CA 91001

Office: 626-798-1131   

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