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Sheriff's Dept. defends Lenny Dykstra scuffle, use of force

December 4, 2012 |  1:14 pm

Lenny Dykstra

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said an investigation into the use-of-force against former New York Mets star Lenny Dykstra found that it was within policy and the case has been closed, officials said.

Dykstra, already serving a three-year state prison sentence for auto theft, was sentenced Monday to an additional 6½ months for federal bankruptcy fraud.

During his sentencing, officials mentioned that Dykstra had been struck by sheriff's deputies during a scuffle in April. 

Although neither the judge nor the defense lawyer discussed specifics, a sheriff's spokesman later confirmed that the incident occurred at a Monterey Park hospital.

"Dykstra became agitated and assaulted a [medical technician] and a nurse," sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said. "Deputies then used force to restrain Dykstra."

Dykstra suffered a bloody nose, but Whitmore denied reports that Dykstra's teeth were damaged in the struggle.

Authorities said they took a use-of-force report, but that the investigation into the incident determined that deputies acted appropriately.

Dykstra, who helped the Mets win the 1986 World Series, had pleaded guilty to looting his mansion of valuables before creditors could liquidate them. He has racked up numerous criminal charges since his financial empire began to crumble in 2009.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson ordered Dykstra to pay $200,000 in restitution and to perform 500 hours of community service in addition to prison time. The 6½-month sentence was far lighter than the 30 months federal prosecutors had sought.

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— Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Lenny Dykstra, photographed during a 2011 court appearance, was sentenced Monday to 6½ months for federal bankruptcy fraud. Credit:  Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

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