Aug. 17-22, 1957
Officers Robert J. Steele, 25, and James K. Sherratt, 28, were sitting in Steele's car at 4 a.m. after finishing their shifts at Newton Division when a gunman tried to rob them, The Times said.
Both officers, who were not in uniform, reached for Steele's revolver, which was on the seat between them, The Times said. But the gun went off, sending a bullet through Steele's right thumb and into Sherratt's groin. Sherratt underwent surgery at Central Receiving Hospital for removal of the bullet.
The gunman fled when the shot was fired, The Times said.
Except there was no attempted holdup and no gunman. Steele and Sherratt had been off duty for two hours and were drinking in Steele's car when the shooting occurred, the Mirror said.
Sherratt resigned from the department. Steele and Officer T.J. Brown, a witness, were suspended pending a board of rights inquiry on charges of filing a false report, misuse of firearms and failure to report a gunshot.
The next year, a man crossing the road at 7th Street and Central Avenue died after being hit by car driven by James K. Sherratt of West Covina, The Times said. Sherratt was not charged.