Thursday, May 15, 2014

LASD Memorial Run Sunday May 18th

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Thursday May 15, 2014, 11:22 AM

- Altadena Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff

Sheriff's Station Crime Blotter

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Advisory: Altadena Sheriff's Station
commemorate Police Memorial Week, Sunday May 18 at 2:30PM, with run and

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.

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

Altadena 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.

The 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 officers:

• Deputy Constable Adolofo Celis, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s
Department, died April 18, 1883. Deputy 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

• 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. Deputy 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 hospital.

• Sergeant Raymond C. Willis, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,
died April 15, 1957. 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, 2013. 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, 2014. 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 collision.

• Officer Christopher Cortijo, Los Angeles Police Department, died April
9, 2014. 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 lived."

—Vivian Eney Cross, Survivor
Contact Information:

Altadena Sheriff Station


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by LASD - Altadena
Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff

780 East Altadena Drive, Altadena, CA 91001
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