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Victor Valley College Officer-Involved Death Determined to be Justified

Victor Valley College Officer-Involved Death Determined to be Justified

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VICTORVILLE – After an extensive investigation, the shooting death of a Lucerne Valley man by a Victor Valley College Police Officer the death was deemed legally justified the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Officials said. The investigation into this case included reports from  body cam recordings, belt recordings, photographs, call logs, and statements of both civilian and law enforcement witnesses.

On February 14, 2015, the Victor Valley College officer on duty noticed that two vending machines appeared to have been tampered with. One of the machines had the illumination disabled and the second was pulled away from the wall where it was placed.  When the officer continued to investigate the situation, she found that both of the vending machines had the locking mechanisms drilled out and were broken into.

The officer did an area check but found no one that may have been involved and did not immediately find any suspicious activity. Later, the deputy located two more vending machines with similar damage near the campus library. Hours later, on February 15, 2015, at around 4:20 a.m. the officer approached the academic commons building in her patrol car with her headlights on near the vending machines. The deputy noticed movement in the shrubs and two subjects jumped out of the shrubs and began to run away.  

One of the two subjects, was later identified as 58-year-old Lucerne Valley resident Anthony Dean Marino. The deputy identified herself as the police and demanded the two to stop running over the patrol car PA System but the two continued running.  At around 4:22 a.m. the officer called for backup stating she had two that she believes broke into the vending machines and one was running down the hillside and she lost sight of the second.

One of the two subjects was later identified as 58-year-old Lucerne Valley resident Anthony Dean Marino. The deputy identified herself as the police and demanded the two to stop running over the patrol car PA System but the two continued running.  At around 4:22 a.m. the officer called for backup stating she had two that she believes broke into the vending machines and one was running down the hillside and she lost sight of the second.

One of the two subjects was later identified as 58-year-old Lucerne Valley resident Anthony Dean Marino. The deputy identified herself as the police and demanded the two to stop running over the patrol car PA System but the two continued running.  At around 4:22 a.m. the officer called for backup stating she had two that she believes broke into the vending machines and one was running down the hillside and she lost sight of the second.

The officer parked on an access road ahead of where Marino was running and exited her vehicle, at which time Marino began running toward her.  She took out her gun and told Marino to get down and told dispatch that she had one suspect at gunpoint. Marino stopped, temporarily complying with the officer. He then asked why he was being detained and the officer told him he was being detained for breaking into the vending machines. He then jumped up attempting to run away and the officer chase behind. Just minutes after she grabbed onto Marino to place him in a controlled hold.

Marino resisted causing the officer and Marino to fall down the hill and into a rose bush. Marino landed on top of the officer and began to strike the officer. The officer defended herself by kicking Marino in the groin causing him to get off of her and again attempt to flee. She again gained control of Marino after a brief struggle and got him positioned on his stomach.  She commanded him to place his hands behind his back and he just moaned. She placed his hands behind his back and alerted dispatch that the suspect was detained.

Another deputy arrived on scene and conducted a patdown search of Marino finding various burglary tools. Marino was rolled over and the deputy attemped to stand Marino up but he fell over. Medical aid was requested and the handcuffs were removed. The deputy began chest compressions and CPR shortly following. AMR and County Fire officials continued CPR as Marino was loaded into the ambulance for transport to Desert Valley.

Marino arrived at Desert Valley Hospital in full cardiac arrest as CPR continued. CT scans were performed and indicated that he was suffering from two brain bleeds and anoxic brain injury. He was placed on life support and after speaking with doctors about his prognosis the family took him off of life support on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 18, 2015 and he was pronounced dead shortly after.

The autopsy conducted by the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department Coroner Division showed external abrasions consistent with the physical struggle. Rib fractures and bruising consistent with CPR were present.

“Dr. Sheridan observed chronic hepatitis, as well as focal myocardial fibrosis and coronary arteriolosclerosis,” District Attorney’s Office Officials said. Methamphetamine and amphetamine were both detected in his system. The cause of death were determined to be cardiac arrest, with a contributing cause of methamphamine abuse. The manner of death was determined to be accidental.  

“Based upon the totality of circumstances and the autopsy findings that the death was accidental, the conclusion is that the actions taken by law enforcement were justified in this circumstance,” the District Attorney’s Office Officials concluded.

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Christie Martin

Reporter at 24/7 Headline News
Integrity is unbelievably important when reporting. I believe in getting to the bottom of the story while being sensitive to the fact that the "story" affects real lives.I am committed to bringing important news, events, and other information to those in my community and beyond.


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