Sunday, January 29, 2012

Santa Maria Police Officer Shot By Fellow Cop After Resisting Arrest For Sexual Assault Of A Minor

Albert Covarrubias Jr.

Photo: Family/KSBY dot com

29-year-old officer became aware of internal investigation about allegations of sexual misconduct with a 17-year-old girl.

By H. Nelson Goodson
January 29, 2012

Santa Maria, California - On early Saturday, Santa Maria Police Officer Albert Covarrubias Jr., 29, was killed by a fellow officer when he resisted arrest and shot at officers. Several police supervisors with a warrant were sent to take Officer Covarrubias, who was on-duty into custody after the internal affairs unit discovered that Covarrubias became aware of an investigation that raised allegations of sexual misconduct involving a 17-year-old girl and trying to intimidate a witness.
Officer Covarrubias apparently had tried to contact the teenager and investigating officers believed, if Covarrubias left his assigned work area, the public could have been at risk. It became paramount to take Officer Covarrubias into custody as soon as possible, according to a police report.
Officer Covarrubias resisted arrest after 1:08 a.m. and struggled with arresting officers. Covarrubias then fired his weapon at the officers. One of the officers at the scene, Officer Matthew Kline returned fire once and fatally wounded Covarrubias in the chest. Officer Kline, who was working the shift with Covarrubias was put in administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation. Kline has worked for the police department for eight years.
Covarrubias was taken to the Marian Medical Center for treatment, but expired, according to Santa Maria Police Chief Dan R. Macagni. Macagni confirmed, that the internal investigation targeting Officer Covarrubias began on Thursday. By Friday, Covarrubias engaged in "witness intimidation" after he learned of the internal investigation against him, according to Macagni.
Shortly before Covarrubias was shot, it was revealed that he had an "inappropriate" and "very explicit" relationship with a teenager.
Officer Covarrubias was married and worked for the department for four years. He was stationed at a driver's license and sobriety DUI checkpoint when Covarrubias was approached by arresting officers.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting incident.
Covarrubias' family released his named, provided a photo of the officer and granted an interview with KSBY dot com News, according to KSBY.

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