In And Out Of Cars

Flash! Chargers linebacker shot in front of his house by off-duty cop. I'm sure you know what this means. That's right, it's time to play "If I Were Steve Foley's Attorney."

The story so far, as told by a San Diego County Sheriff's Department press release and then rewritten by everybody else without using the words "San Diego County Sheriff's Department press release" in their stories...follows are selected quotes from the original document.

"At about 3:26 a.m. this morning (September 3), an off-duty Coronado Police Officer reported that he was following a suspected drunk driver in the vicinity of northbound Highway 163 and Highway 52. The suspect vehicle was described as weaving in lanes, traveling at speeds of between 30 and 90 miles per hour and nearly colliding with several other vehicles on the highway.

"...suspect vehicle stopped for a red signal light, the officer pulled his car next to him, and after identifying himself as a police officer, ordered the driver to pull the car over. The driver acknowledged the officer, then drove away. After a short distance the suspect stopped again. The driver got out of his car and approached the officer, who had stopped behind him. The officer verbally identified himself and pulled out his handgun. He told the suspect several times to stop.

"However, he continued to walk toward the officer, while making the statement, 'That's a BB gun.' The suspect then walked back to his car. A female passenger got out of the vehicle and yelled an unintelligible comment to the officer. The suspect and his female passenger then drove away..."

As Steve Foley's lawyer, I require clarification on the following points. First, what is a Coronado off-duty cop doing at 3:00 a.m driving north on 163. Maybe he was just off-shift and decided to visit his mother in Riverside. Maybe he works in Coronado and lives in Santee. Still, I want to know. And when, by the way, did the cop finish his shift and what did he do from that moment until 3:26 a.m.?

Second, what is it with everybody stopping and starting and getting in and out of their cars? First contact, the cop pulls up next to Foley at a stoplight, says he's a cop, orders Foley to pull over. Press release says Foley, "...acknowledged the officer, then drove away." A question comes to mind, "What would you do at 3:30 in the morning if a man in civilian clothes, driving a civilian car, orders you to pull over?" And while we're at it, what, exactly, does "acknowledged the officer" mean?

Does it mean (a) "Hi, big guy"? Or, does it mean (b) "I understand you are a police officer and therefore I shall flee this crime scene"?

Then, Foley stops again, gets out, walks toward the now-parked cop. Cop says he's a cop, pulls out his gun, tells Foley to stop. Foley continues to walk toward the cop, says, "That's a BB gun," and walks back to his car. A woman gets out of his car and screams at the cop. Then, Foley and his companion drive away.

What is wrong with the picture other than everything? As Foley's attorney, I want to know what is the cop doing while two people are getting in and out of a car, walking around at their leisure, dissing him, getting back in their car and driving away. Sounds like the cop is sitting alone in his automobile holding his gun.

And, as Foley's attorney, I want to know, where are all the other cops? When did the off-duty cop call for backup? Did he call for backup? If not, why not?

Press release says, "The suspect then stopped his vehicle Poway, with the officer behind them. The suspect got out of his car and again approached the officer's car...the officer got out of his car."

In and out of cars again.

"He saw the suspect approaching him on foot...with his female companion driving the car next to him. As the suspect approached, the officer again identified himself as a police officer and that his gun was real. The officer fired a warning shot into some bushes.

"The female rapidly accelerated the car directly at the officer. In response, the officer fired two shots at the car.... The male suspect reached into his pants with his right hand as he approached the officer. The officer then fired at the suspect. The suspect acknowledged that he had been shot, but continued toward the officer, who then fired again at him..."

Assuming Foley is guilty of drunk driving, and I certainly do, although I should point out that as of Tuesday afternoon he has not been charged with any crime, still, this story reeks of lies and omissions. More to come.

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