No charges after cop's errant bullet wounds man

There are 31 comments on the SF Gate story from Apr 30, 2009, titled No charges after cop's errant bullet wounds man. In it, SF Gate reports that:

The Tulare County district attorney won't file charges against the Woodlake police department for the shooting of a 68-year-old man who was struck in the back after a bullet missed its target at a firing range.

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model94

United States

#21 Feb 4, 2010
wpd is currupt i know this first hand and iv seen it whith my own eyes it scary but true and thats all im going to say about it i really copuld care less what you people think because it wont change anything they will do what they want when they want and thats just the way it is
concerned parent

United States

#22 Feb 17, 2010
I have read all these posts and I am just floored that the system is so corrupt. I found this forum after trying to find answers to why, after my ex was found with over 200 images of child pornography on his computer that he was not arrested by Tulare County Sheriff's. I am aware of the Jacob Wammack situation out of the Porterville Substation but I am wondering what else if anything might explain why this guy was not arrested for possession of child pornography. I seen the images myself and these girls were just babies between the ages of 2 and 8 years old. I know he has "friends" that work at the substation including a now retired Lieutenant but how is it that Porterville could be so corrupt as to let this guy get away with this? Please, any light on this would be greatly appreciated. I have a 4 yr old daughter that has been placed in my ex's custody because they say I made all this up. The Sheriff Dept. even sealed the afidavit for the search warrant and the actual images themselves in hopes that no one would find them but I did and now the County Counsel is trying to cover their butts rather than protect an innocent child.
Drumbeat

Salt Lake City, UT

#24 Feb 9, 2011
It would seem that the voters of Tulare County have spoken with authority.
Drumbeat

Salt Lake City, UT

#25 Feb 9, 2011
concerned parent wrote:
But how is it that Porterville could be so corrupt as to let this guy get away with this?
Porterville??? Tulare County has a long history of Corruption.

A stark example is the death penalty prosecution of Mark Sodersten. In 2007, a California Court of Appeal vacated Sodersten's conviction after finding that the prosecutor, Philip Cline, and (Superior Court Judge Ron Couillard) had improperly withheld audiotapes from the defense. The audiotapes contained Cline's interviews with key witnesses. After reviewing the tapes in 2007, the justices found that they contained dramatic evidence pointing to Sodersten's innocence. Unfortunately for Sodersten, the court's ruling came too late. Mr. Sodersten died in prison after spending 22 years behind bars for a murder that the appellate court said he most likely did not commit. Sodersten's attorney filed a formal complaint with the California State Bar against Philip Cline, arguing that the prosecutor "asked a jury to kill a man based on a conviction he perverted." Philip Cline, however, was never disciplined. In April 2010, the State bar closed the investigation claiming that it could not prove Cline's culpability by clear and convincing evidence. Philip Cline was elected District Attorney for Tulare County in 1992 and remains in that position today.

The Good Ol' Boy system in Tulare County works hard to cover up the evil deeds of those in positions of authority.
concerned parent

Porterville, CA

#26 Mar 25, 2011
Thank you Drumbeat for that info. I had known of this case and I too find it disgusting to think someone can continue to get away with such things. I know the corruption is much deeper than either of us can possibly know.
and my two cents on the Woodlake PD. I appreciate and admire Zapalac for his hard work and dedication. Life is not perfect but he makes it much safer.
Sam Sneed

Fresno, CA

#27 Apr 28, 2012
Woodlake PD rules!!!!!!!
Anna Lee

West Hollywood, CA

#28 Mar 25, 2013
My dad was convicted in 81 of the visalia ransacker case which he did NOT commit. Charles Sinclair, a 33+ SERIAL KILLER DID. But thanks to this BS good ol boy system my dad lived 31.5 yrs and died at age 54 in prison.
Anna Lee

West Hollywood, CA

#29 Mar 25, 2013
the innocence project tried to help but evidence was DESTROYED after a certain sheriff heard of them coming... there was NO evidence- this took me 16 yrs to comes to terms with. Until a detective in WA called me to let me know Sinclair CONFESSED. I work in LE and its disgusting to me that I lost my dad at age 54 not only in prison, but for a crime he did NOT commit. I could name names but I am sure anyone on this page already knows
Anna Lee

West Hollywood, CA

#30 Mar 25, 2013
OMG SAME JUDGE- back then a DA. Coulliard. Withheld evidence after my dad was granted a new trial by the 4th court of appeals. OMFG this was in 84'- guess now hes on the bench and can do whatever he wants. my heart goes out to ANYONE else who has endured the misjustice of these people.
Ana

La Habra, CA

#31 Apr 17, 2013
I know this is a very old post, but I wanted to clarify that I know first hand that Jesse Garcia (from Exeter) was a corrupt pig!
Email 19usmc75@gmail.com for more info.
Drumbeat wrote:
Very interesting article.
Have you noticed that all the small agencies in Tulare County always hire retired Tulare County Sheriff's Deputies to become their chiefs of police?
Have you ever noticed that incompetence and scandal always seem to follow them?
Read on my friends...
Zapalac retired after 30 years with TCSO and became the Woodlake C.O.P. in 1996. Since that time, he has done enough notable things to create a public diversion, but Zapalac is as incompetent a leader as you could ever find anywhere.
With all due respect to the hardworking and honest deputies of that fine agency, the higher levels of TCSO administration are inherently corrupt.
Remember Melvin 'Butch' Coley? He resigned from TCSO under suspicion of misconduct. He later became the Tulare County Sheriff. He fired several deputies, Leroy Holland and Larry McLaughlin to name but two, because they called Coley on his unethical conduct.
Needless to say, they were awarded their jobs back with back pay and full compensation.
Nice job, Butch. That cost the taxpayers of Tulare County a fortune, not to mention the medical coverage you cooked up to save the county money that screwed all the deputies with families.
Now everyone in Tulare County Law Enforcement knew that former Woodlake Police Sergeant Ken Chipchase was crooked as far back as 1993, but former Woodlake Police Lieutenant Alfred Silva and Chief of Police Jesse Garcia turned a blind eye to what Chipchase and his partner Officer Tom Crowell were up to.
It took a few years for everything to blow up in their faces, but the lid finally did blow off. You can read accounts of Ken Chipchase's arrest and trial in the June 1998 editions of The Fresno Bee.
Now during the early 1990's, there were a handful of honest, hardworking cops at Woodlake PD. Among the 'good cops' was Sgt. Mark Swaim, Darrel Luera, Jay Brock and a couple of reserve officers. However, both the Lieutenant and the Chief at the time were as crooked as they come. Lt. Alfred Silva left to avoid an inquiry into his conduct and former chief Jesse Garcia was fired.
Keep in mind that there were TWO Jesse Garcia’s; one was a Woodlake resident and the other was from Exeter PD. The Jesse Garcia from Exeter PD was never known to have been involved in any wrongdoing. He was chief just prior to Zapalac coming on board in 1996.
Woodlake Police Officer Ray Sandoval was shot at the Woodlake Airport in December, 1993, when he interrupted a burglary. Sandoval survived by virtue of his bullet-proof vest and returned to work a short time later.
Sandoval was arrested and charged with shooting himself with his own off-duty handgun, allegedly to impress or win back an ex-girlfriend. Sandoval was convicted and did time for this.
One question that was never asked during the trial and I was present for the entire event.
No one ever asked who had Sandoval's off-duty handgun the night of the shooting. Sandoval had loaned it to a fellow officer a few days before the incident. I wonder who had the gun?
Coincidence? Perhaps not. At any rate, that was just the tip of the iceberg in the saga of Woodlake PD.
More to come.......
Concerned Parent

Porterville, CA

#32 Jan 10, 2014
Anna Lee wrote:
the innocence project tried to help but evidence was DESTROYED after a certain sheriff heard of them coming... there was NO evidence- this took me 16 yrs to comes to terms with. Until a detective in WA called me to let me know Sinclair CONFESSED. I work in LE and its disgusting to me that I lost my dad at age 54 not only in prison, but for a crime he did NOT commit. I could name names but I am sure anyone on this page already knows
Can you please tell me more? Very interested in hearing about your Dad's case and I am sorry that you are another innocent victim in this corruption.

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