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LASD - Altadena Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
Thursday May 15th, 2014 :: 11:22 a.m. PDT


Altadena Sheriff's Station commemorate Police Memorial Week, Sunday May 18 at 2:30PM, with run and ceremony

Mark your calendars and join us on Sunday, May 18th , 2:30PM, at the Altadena Sheriff’s Station as we commemorate Police Memorial Week with the 37th Annual Memorial Torch Run Relay.

Runners will be running into Altadena Station at approximately 2:30PM where we will conduct a short ceremony and have food and beverages for all who come out to support us.

This year Altadena Station will be honoring one of our own, Constable Anton Harnischfeger, who, through historical research was discovered to have been killed while on duty while investigating a child battery incident.

Altadena deputies, families, friends, and supporters will be picking up the torch from Crescenta Valley Station. Runners should enter Altadena @ 2:00PM. We would like to invite the public to cheer on the runners as they make their way from Woodbury Road north onto N. Windsor Ave. and then east on Ventura St., north bound on Casitas Ave. to Altadena Dr. and then east bound to the Altadena Sheriff's Station, where the run should end @ @2:30PM.

The please join us at the Altadena Sheriff’s Station back parking area for a short ceremony honoring those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for the people of Los Angeles County. Followed by some food and beverages

This is a special way to honor law enforcement and it is open to the public and media. This year’s Memorial Torch Relay Run honors the following officers:

• Deputy Constable Adolofo Celis, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died April 18, 1883. Deputy Celis was investigation claims of cattle rustling, in what is now the San Fernando Valley, when he was hit by a bullet as a rifle was dislodged when he adjusted a blanket on his buckboard.

• Constable Anton Harnischfeger, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died March 20, 1889. Constable Harnischfeger was serving an arrest warrant, in what is now considered Altadena, on a suspect who assaulted a 15 year old girl earlier in the day. As he knocked on the door of the suspect’s residence. The suspect opened the door, drew a handgun and fired a bullet into Constable Harnischfeger’s face. The suspect fled, but was later tracked down and killed in a subsequent shoot out.

• Deputy Constable Anthony Bryan Couts, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died October 25, 1914. Deputy Couts was called to a rooming house in downtown LA to intervene in a business dispute between to property owners. A tenant became involved and a heated argument ensued. Couts took hold of the tenant and told him he was taking him to the police station. The suspect drew a handgun and shot Deputy Couts in the stomach. He died from the gunshot wound the next morning. The suspect was tried and convicted of manslaughter.

• Constable John S. (Jack) Pilcher, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died June 4, 1925. Constable Pilcher responded to Gage Ranch, in what is now Santa Clarita, to investigate a burglary. Several items had been stolen but other items remained. The Constable and his partner decided to spend the night at the location, believing the thieves would return. The next morning they saw a large lizard run under the bed and both chased it, when the other deputy’s gun fell out of his holster, hit the ground and discharged. The round struck Constable Pilcher between the eyes and killed him instantly.

• Deputy James L. McDermott, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died August 26, 1931. Deputy McDermott, a member of the Sheriff’s Robbery Detail, was at a service station in downtown Los Angeles getting gas. As he exited his car, it began to roll away from the pumps due to a severe slope. He jumped on the running board in an attempt to stop the vehicle from reentering traffic or damaging the station. Seconds later he was impaled on a hook used to suspend a water hose. The sharp point pierced his chest just below his heart. He died in the ambulance as he was transported to the hospital.

• Sergeant Raymond C. Willis, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, died April 15, 1957. Sergeant Willis, assigned to the Crime Lab, as a polygraph technician, was flying in a small airplane as a observer with Sergeant/Pilot Vernon Corbeil to search for a downed plane near Malibu. The plane experienced engine trouble and Corbeil attempted to land. The plane scraped a ridge and burst into flames. Both were killed.

• Sergeant Leonard Robert Luna, Jr., Hawthorne Police Department, died July 8, 2013. Sergeant Luna was traveling on the I-105 freeway en route to pick up his department issued motorcycle from the repair shop in Long Beach, when another vehicle struck his motorcycle causing him to suffer serious injuries. He was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

• Officer Nicholas Choung Lee, Los Angeles Police Department, died March 7, 2014. Officer Lee and his partner were responding to a call when his patrol car collided with a commercial vehicle carrying a roll-off dumpster. His partner and the truck driver both suffered critical injuries. Officer Lee was killed in the collision.

• Officer Christopher Cortijo, Los Angeles Police Department, died April 9, 2014. Officer Cortijo, a motor officer, was stopped at a red light, in front of a vehicle, when another vehicle struck him from behind. The vehicle collided with rear of his motorcycle, crushing him and his motorcycle between the two vehicles. Officer Cortijo was gravely injured. He was transported to the hospital where he underwent several surgeries in an attempt to save his life. Four days later he succumbed to his injuries.

The Memorial Torch Relay run was established in 1976 to honor the memory of those brave, dedicated peace officers in Los Angeles County who have sacrificed their lives in the performance of their duties.

This three day run consists of 56 legs with each leg approximately 5 to 10 miles in length and covering more than 300 miles. The memorial torch will pass to each of the mainland sheriff’s stations throughout the county. Avalon Station will conduct their relay on the island during the week. Over 3,000 runners, most of whom are peace officers run during their off duty time to honor the lives of the fallen. The relay run will begin Friday morning, May 16 at the Sherman Block Sheriff’s Headquarters Building in Monterey Park and travels to each mainland Los Angeles County Sheriff’s patrol station, ending at our very own Altadena Sheriff Station on Sunday, May 18.

The memorial torch that the runners carry along the course will ultimately be used to light the ceremonial flame at 10AM on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at the Los Angeles County Peace Officers’ Memorial Wall at the STARS Center. The flame will be ignited in tribute to the fallen officers. The Sheriff's Training Academy and Regional Services Center (STARS Center) is located at 11515 S. Colima Rd, Whittier, CA 90604. The public and media are invited

"It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived."
—Vivian Eney Cross, Survivor

LASD - Altadena Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
780 E Altadena Dr
Altadena, CA 91001

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 626-798-1131

Altadena Sheriff Station

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