Off-Duty California Deputy Dies After Being Punched by Angry Driver

January 04, 2018Jan 04, 2018

On New Year's Eve morning, a single blow killed a 70-year-old off-duty sheriff's deputy in California, according to Fox News.


On Thursday, a video was released, showing the details of the very moment that officials claim Larry Falce, the deputy, was caught in a minor car crash in the incident on New Year's morning. The man is identified as Alonzo Leron Smith, 30. The off-duty San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy was first seen on video standing on the sidewalk after the two got into the crash. 

Smith had accidentally rear-ended the deputy's car after the deputy had stopped quickly while trying to avoid animals walking on the road. Quickly, the two got out of their cars to confront each other. 

At first, Smith appears to be going back to his car. But then, out of nowhere, he turns around and punches the deputy in the face. This caused the 70-year-old deputy to fall to the ground. Then Smith tried to flee in his car while two witnesses tried to stop him.

One bystander tried to use their SUV to ram the attacker's vehicle. According to FKTLA 5, the driving bystander was apparently shocked and began to act on instinct. He had seen the 70-year-old man being punched to the ground and couldn't stomach the thought of the attacker getting away.

“I was just so, so shocked. My instincts just kind of kicked in,” the witness said, according to FKTLA 5

“He jumped in his car and tried to leave, so I rammed him once and then I backed up and he was able to go around my actual truck, so I rammed him a second time in the back of his car and spun him out across the street and into a … tree," the witness continued. 


Then, once the man got away, the witness got out of his SUV  and cradled the unconscious off-duty deputy until paramedics arrived. 

The man who punched the off-duty deputy in the face was soon taken into custody after another witness was able to provide the vehicle's license plate. The suspect was then identified.

Alonzo Leron Smith was arrested on suspicion of murder, according to KTLA, and he is expected to make his very first court appearance on Wednesday morning. His bail was set at a mighty $1 million.

Fox News writes that the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department is currently mourning the loss of this long-time deputy, who first began his career in the department in 1981. 

Falce began working patrol at Central Station for 32 years. He was the oldest member of the 3,700-member department. 

As Fox News put it, he spent his entire life patrolling the community where he lived. He is survived by his sister and girlfriend. 

You can watch the video here.

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