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article imageOfficer down! LA cop lied about shooting

By KJ Mullins     Jan 30, 2011 in Crime
The report read like the making of another police tragedy last week in Woodland Hills, California. Officer down. A manhunt for the burglary suspect who shot him was underway. The crime though was a lie.
According to a report from the LA police Officer Jeff Stenroos, 30, of the Los Angeles Unified School District Police Department was flagged down on Wednesday, January 19, by a person saying a Caucasian man was peering into parked vehicles on a street behind El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills.
Stenroos allegedly saw this suspect at about 11:30 looking into vehicles on Manton Avenue. He is said to have approached the suspect who fired a handgun striking the officer in the chest. Stenroos then fell to the ground, saved by his ballistic vest.
Good Samaritan, Michael Brodey found Stenroos shortly after the incident and used the officer's radio to call for help. Stenroos was transported to Northridge Hospital Medical Center where he was treated and released for a bruised chest, caused by the bullet impact to his ballistic vest, and injuries to his head when he fell.
An alert went out for the suspect, a male Caucasian, in his mid-to-late 40s with long grayish hair pulled into a pony-tail, 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a thin build.
Several schools in the area were locked down as the police sought the one responsible for wounding one of their brothers in blue. Kids were not allowed to leave their classrooms to get food or relieve themselves. Worried parents were told to stay away from the scene until police gave the all clear.
For hours residents waited to return home. For days police followed up on over 350 clues.
There was no suspect. Stenroos had accidentally shot himself. The only truth in the above story was that Brodey found Stenroos and called for help for a fallen officer.
A week later the truth came out. Officer Jeffrey Stenroos was charged on January 26 for one felony charge of filing a false police report.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement, "RHD Detectives worked tirelessly to ensure the case was thoroughly investigated and the community was not at risk. Detectives followed up on more than 350 clues, conducted a number of neighborhood canvasses, made hundreds of community contacts and distributed countless Community Alert Notices in hopes of gathering any valuable leads in the case.
While I understand the media and the public's intense interest in this investigation, and the desire for answers to the many questions that will be asked with this new development of the Officer's arrest, I cannot provide more detailed information at this time."
The school board is considering a lawsuit against Stenroos. They may not be the only ones. Thousands of taxpayer dollars were wasted in the aftermath. At a time when each and every dollar counts in California this hoax angers more than the public. City workers in the area have by having to go on furlough to commit deficits.
TransWorldNews reports:
“His lies set into motion the largest search for a suspect in recent history and inconvenienced thousands of people for hours,” said Paul Weber, the president of the police union that represents officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Stenroos is out of jail on $20,000 bail.
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