How Not to Arrest a Cop

 

AP: “Police learned about a possible inappropriate relationship between the girl and [LA Officer Alberto] Covarrubias two days before the shooting. The girl told investigators she had sex with Covarrubias and agreed to participate in a ruse where she would tell him she might be pregnant with his child, according to the report . . .

Shortly before the shooting, the girl called Covarrubias and told him about the pregnancy and that he was the only person who could be the father of the child.

Covarrubias asked the girl to deny they had sex and said he would kill himself if their relationship was made public, the report said.

“‘You know, I’ll be honest with you, I won’t go to jail,’” Covarrubias tells the girl, according to the report. “‘I’ll go out, but I won’t go to jail.’”

Covarrubias adds: “‘But like I said, if it gets out that it’s mine, if you tell anybody, or this is a set up … I’m done girl.’”

Police then made the decision to arrest Covarrubias at the DUI checkpoint, even though at least one superior was concerned about arresting an armed officer among other officers, most of whom had no idea that Covarrubias was under investigation.

Another high-ranking officer said the reason for making an arrest immediately was because Covarrubias “may be suicidal and had told someone that he wasn’t going to be taken alive,” the report said.

Two sergeants — one of them the officer’s cousin — approached Covarrubias but he backed away. Covarrubias drew his gun and fired one shot, but didn’t hit anyone, the report said. Security camera video from a nearby business captured some of the struggle.

One of the sergeants pleaded for help from fellow officers as Covarrubias did not let go of his gun. When Kline noticed the two sergeants were in “the fight for life,” according to the report, he pulled out his weapon and shot and killed Covarrubias.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

26 Responses to How Not to Arrest a Cop

  1. avatarCharlie says:

    So who abducted Covarrubias from Fantasy Island?

  2. avatarirock350 says:

    I am all for useing force, but I can’t but think that those officers have a batman belt full of tools that could have ended this without shooting the guy. Mace,Taser, Baton. ANy of those could have been used to subdue the officer.

    • avatarliquidflorian says:

      Or just waiting for him to hit the showers at the end of the shift. Get him in custody fast while his own batman belt is in his locker.

    • avatarLogan says:

      Obviously you don’t use OC spray, taser or baton on somewho who has a firearm out. If he decides to use deadly force, officers can do the same.

    • avatarHal says:

      In a deadly force scanario, which this definitely was, a LEO has no obligation or duty to exhaust lesser use of force options prior to implementing a deadly force device.

      • avatarHal says:

        Please come back edit button… I miss thee, and where was the f*cking spell check when I needed it? it wasn’t even an option.

        • avatarLarry says:

          Hal…..I have no sympathy. Download a decent dictionary to your desktop and check it for correct spellings and usage. Read over what you post BEFORE hit the post button. I do and never need spell check. Besides, spell check will suggest something that is inappropiate if you’re not careful. It doesn’t know the difference in sound-alike words.

  3. avatarSanchanim says:

    WOW…
    While I don’t agree with sex with underage persons, she was 17, and I am sure it wasn’t rape, but a relationship. I get it he broke the law, as weird as it is, some states the age is quite low, so there isn’t any consistency. I get it you want to protect minors from bad old people. But the law is also used when a 16 year old has sex with his 15 year old girl friend. And that is just wrong.
    The investigators should come under scrutiny here. How did they find out she was in this relationship? Why do this phone call ruse? Why approach him while armed? They could have waited until later, even a week. I don’t think he wanted to shoot anyone but himself. I think the shooting was justified, but the situation could have been avoided with a little common sense. He wanted suicide by cop and that is what he got in the end, but it is sad it even came to this.
    The officer that shot him was a close friend as well. The girl will now have to live with the stigma that because she couldn’t keep her mouth shut she caused his death. Sure she told the truth, but at what cost?
    I think there is more to this story somewhere, but it has yet to come out. Like did he break up with her, a woman scorned is a nasty thing.. My ex is a good example lol

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      I agree. This shouldn’t have been a crime in the first place. Look at what this idiotic puritanical nonsense (the legal demonization of consensual sex) and their poor handling of the situation led to.

      Fire him, scold him, do whatever. He behaved irresponsibly and recklessly. But putting him on trial and in prison for consensual sex with a girl who could’ve been a few days away from her 18th birthday for all we know, is criminal in and of itself.

  4. avatarLTC F says:

    Sooo…..cops will use their mighty SWAT to kick down doors, throw their flash-bangs, and shoot dogs for eight ounces of pot in a house full of kids, but not so much to arrest someone they know is armed and said he wouldn’t be arrested. Hmmm.

  5. avatarKWAL says:

    Boo Hoo for the po po.

  6. avatarGabriel says:

    The first thing I thought when I saw Covarrubia’s pic was “Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout Willis?!”

  7. avatarRoll says:

    There were better ways to handle this. This is the result of people not thinking things through.

  8. avatarChris Dumm says:

    The most important issue here isn’t how not to arrest a cop. It’s not not to HIRE a cop. Did this guy ever have to pass a background check and psych eval? He wasn’t a pedophile or a child rapist or anything evil or twisted, but he was obviously messed up to get himself deliberately killed because of a mistake like this.

    The officer’s career would certainly have been over because of the arrest and charges (and it would have been for having sex with a victim, or witness, or subordinate, or supervisor for that matter anyway) but committing suicide by cop is a fairly extreme response to what may well have been resolved as a misdemeanor offense under the California Penal Code section 261.5.

    Please don’t blame the girl for his death; he chose that end himself.

    • avatarliquidflorian says:

      Exactly, how did this guy make it through screening?

      Also, I’ve read enough of Radley Balko and InjusticeEverywhere.com to know that its not the end of a career for stuff like this. I’ve read of LEO unions getting guys rehired with back pay for worse then this.

  9. avatarJS III says:

    I remember reading about this , what a cluster f of poor planning.

  10. avatarRalph says:

    This is what happens when someone who should know better has sex with a cop.

  11. avatarParthenon says:

    Meanwhile officers who negligibly discharge in schools, use excessive force or coduct illegal raids are given paid vacations.

  12. avatargabba says:

    It’s just astonishing how idiotic cops can be. just set him up to disarm himself. get him in the showers or on the toilet or go to the range for practice and arrest him when his mag runs dry. arrest him when he goes to a site where it’s protocol for even cops to disarm themselves like court.

  13. avatarTommy Knocker says:

    Ok so I’m always the contrarian. What makes me think that when stuff like Waco, Ruby Ridge and this happen, that the powers that be know quite well the consequences of their actions? The local sheriff at Waco said he could have arrested Koresh anytime he went to town. Randy Weaver could have been given a summons and he would have showed up in court. This smuck could have been cornered, like its been said, in the crapper or shower or even preemptively tasered and dropped to the pavement and handcuffed. But NO ! Can I even go so far as to say that another capture team was told, either actually or winked at, that there wasn’t a plane ticket for a kicking and whining Bin Laden on the return flight. Dead men don’t tell no tales. Tales that may make important folks uncomfortable.

  14. avatarEsh325 says:

    The situation escalated to this level because of pure negligence. It could have been prevented. There is too much corruption with the Police system in the US. Reforms are needed.

  15. avatarVid Luther says:

    Any comment on why he was under investigation in the first place?

  16. avatarNathan says:

    Wow…an incredibly sad story. The police department made a pretty damn bad decision in trying to take Covarrubias like that. Doesn’t their IA department have procedures for this type of stuff? I feel really bad for the guy who shot him too, apparently he was the best man in Covarubbias’ wedding.

  17. avatarQ-Train says:

    Didn’t this happen months ago?

  18. avatarBoris says:

    Sounds like detective material around here.

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