A San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy died from injuries he suffered in a New Year’s Eve attack following an off-duty traffic incident Tuesday.
Lawrence “Larry” Falce, who is a 36-year veteran of the San Bernardino County Sherriff’s Department, passed away Tuesday night in a hospital. The 70-year old deputy succumbed to injuries he sustained after being attacked by a motorist two days earlier.
According to reports, an off-duty Falce was involved in a minor road incident on Kendall Drive and University Parkway in San Bernardino with another vehicle at around 10:50 a.m. Sunday. After the crash, both drivers got out of their cars.
Authorities say that the other driver punched Falce for unknown reasons. As a result, the deputy sustained a severe head injury and needed to be placed on life support.
The Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefit Association said that the deputy never regained consciousness after the attack, which it described as “brutal.”
Authorities have since located the suspect and have taken him into custody. However, his identity has not yet been released because of the ongoing investigation into the matter.
Shortly after taking the sheriff’s deputy off life support, the Sheriff’s Department issued a statement announcing the passing of Falce. “The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is mourning the death of one of their own tonight. Moments ago, Deputy Lawrence ‘Larry’ Falce succumbed to injuries he sustained from the violent attack on Sunday, December 31, 2017,” said the department.
“He prided himself as being a lifelong public servant, who cared deeply about this profession,” said Lt. Sarkis Ohannessian in a press release. “Larry was loved by his peers and the community members he served. More importantly, he cared about so many people he called family.”
At 70, Falce was the oldest sworn member of the Sheriff’s Department. Falce previously served in the U.S. Army before joining the Sheriff’s Department in 1981.