Thursday, December 07, 2006


It's been a busy week for public safety in the Hills and if you believe things really happen in threes, then my best guess is BHFD is long overdue for a ripping structure fire.

Late Saturday night saw the city's first fatality traffic accident in awhile--we're not counting the fatal vehicle vs. bicyclist at Wilshire and Little Santa Monica a few months back. C/D-list actor Lane Garrison apparently drove his Land Rover directly into a tree in front of the Islands restaurant on South Beverly Drive just north of Olympic Boulevard after he picked up three high school kids at a nearby gas station convenience store.

Lucky for Garrison, the tree emerged seemingly unscathed. Not so lucky was the fate of a 17-year-old passenger who died at Cedars Sinai after a Code 3 BHFD transport. The two 15-year-old girls survived as did Garrison who was taken to Century City Hospital. His attorney has provided nearly a week full of laughable quotes regarding his client's participation in the event; everything from he woke up at the hospital with total amnesia to he only had a sip of one drink to etc. etc. etc.

I was driving home from a party heading south on Beverly and was forced to detour at Gregory around the scene. Couldnt see much from 100 yards away except a ton of flashing lights. After I got home, heard Engine 1 go by on Olympic as second or third-in engine on the call. The scanner traffic was pretty routine so I didn't know it was a fatal until I checked the news the following day.

That was #1. The second event happened last night during a fairly ho-hum Wednesday night of scanning. BHPD was doing their usual slew of late evening traffic stops when a Code 3 call dropped on Tower Road, a posh street in the way north end of the city that usually sees zero crime.

It came across as a possible burglary in progress and was quickly upgraded to a 459 (burglary) suspect fighting with a Bel-Air Patrol (armed private security guard) officer and that the officer had been stabbed. For the first time in memory, every BHPD unit on duty in the city hit their lights and sirens and headed for the scene, as did detectives at SWAT members in unmarked cars from BHPD HQ. An LAPD airship was requested and we were off to the races.

Once on scene, it was clearly chaos as the average BHPD call doesn't produce nearly as much adrenaline. Turns out, the Bel-Air Patrolman stabbed the burglarly suspect as they scuffled. The suspect, however, had been stalking a woman who lived at the home and this info was broadcast over the air. BHPD SWAT cleared the large house and the suspect was taken to Cedars via Rescue 1. Rare to catch a stalker in the act and then stab him, so it was a good call for me and the cops.

Now, it's time for #3...what'll it be????? My bet's on a fire.

***UPDATE (12/09/06)*** It looks like Long Beach Fire (also due for a big structure) caught the Big One last night at a huge apartment complex. Two civilians dead, a bunch of FF injuries and a whole lot of fire, which spread through the ventilation system and burned a lot space.