Fullerton’s Ex-Police Chief and Captain Charged in Chokehold Assault of EMTs

Former Fullerton police chief David Hendricks (Fullerton PD)

When it rains it pours in Fullerton: First it was charges today for the former mayor’s wife, and now it’s charges for the former police chief and a captain.

David James Hendricks, the now-ex Fullerton police chief, and Capt. Thomas William Oliveras Jr. were charged today for their off-duty roles in the battery on emergency medical technicians at an August concert in Irvine.

Hendricks, who resigned as chief on Nov. 2 amid the scandal, faces two misdemeanor counts of battery on an EMT and resisting and obstructing a police officer, which could lead to the 47-year-old getting three years in county jail if convicted.

Oliveras also faces misdemeanor resisting and obstructing an officer but only a single count of battery on an EMT. If convicted, the 50-year-old could get two years in the county slammer.

Their arraignments are scheduled for Jan. 9 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

Captain Thomas Oliveras (Fullerton PD)

As Liam Blume reported for the Weekly, Hendricks and Oliveras were allegedly drinking heavily while watching an Aug. 24 Lady Antebellum concert with their spouses at the 5 Points Amphitheatre in Irvine.

Two Symons Ambulance EMTs, who had responded to a report that Hendricks’ wife suffered some kind of injury, arrived to a fight scene, and while tending to the woman, Hendricks and Oliveras allegedly assaulted them physically.

“Hendricks is accused of pushing two EMTs as they attempted to provide treatment and Oliveras is accused of putting one victim in a headlock,” the OCDA said today. “The Irvine Police Department responded to the scene and the defendants are accused of obstructing and delaying the investigation.”

The incident led to Hendricks and Oliveras being placed on paid administrative during the Irvine police criminal investigation.

Hendricks had only been chief for seven months when the melee happened. A follow-up story by Blume cited recent Fullerton police scandals that preceded his rise to the top-cop spot.

Click here for the charges against the wife of former Fullerton mayor (and new county supervisor) Doug Chaffee.

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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