Jerome Arthur Josephson
February 10, 1949 - December 19, 1992
Jerome Josephson was born in California. His mother's maiden name was Grass.
He served on active duty in the Army from March 12, 1969 to October 15, 1970.
Officials Apologize for Ignoring
Call on Man Who Died
December 24, 1992|RICHARD C. PADDOCK | TIMES STAFF WRITER
SAN FRANCISCO The Mendocino County Sheriff's Department has publicly apologized for ignoring a call
to help a homeless man who appeared intoxicated but actually was dying in a gas station phone booth.
Jerome Josephson, 43, died early Saturday less than an hour after the call came in to the Sheriff's Department--and despite
the efforts of a local Caltrans worker who tracked down a California Highway Patrol officer and gave the victim
"I'm not going to make any excuses for us," Sheriff's Capt. Berle Murray said Wednesday. "We made some procedural errors here.
We're darn sorry it happened."
Long faced with budget problems, the Sheriff's Department has no deputies who routinely patrol the coastal portion of the rural,
100-mile-long county between the hours of 2 a.m. and noon.
When problems or emergencies arise, a dispatcher is supposed to call on state or federal agencies for help or wake up
one of the department's deputies to respond to the call, Murray said.
But in the case of Josephson, the dispatcher on duty simply said there was no one available to help.
"This dispatcher is a good, good employee," Murray said. "We just made a mistake. She feels flaming terrible."
The final chapter of Josephson's life began Friday afternoon when he was arrested by the Sheriff's Department for
public intoxication and taken to the nearby Ft. Bragg City Jail. He was released about 11 p.m. that night.
At about 6:30 Saturday morning, Caltrans worker Brian Tarner came across Josephson mumbling incoherently at a gas station
south of Ft. Bragg. The owner of the gas station called the Sheriff's Department for assistance, reporting that a drunk
had passed out in the station's phone booth, Murray said.
When the dispatcher declined to provide assistance, Tarner drove into town and found a CHP officer who returned to the scene
with him. Both attempted to revive Josephson before paramedics took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy is pending.
Department officials said the dispatcher erred in not consulting with her superior and in not contacting the CHP directly for assistance.
The department has improved its internal policies so that a similar mistake does not occur again, officials said.
"The dispatcher did not intend to cause that man harm," said Sheriff James Tuso. "It was a mistake.
A deputy should have been dispatched, or at least we should have found out if another agency was available to respond."
Los Angeles Times
Photo of Jerome Josephson from Paul Flartey
Thanks to Kathy Root for her research and assistance in the preparation of this page
Home | Photos | Battles & History | Current |
Rosters & Reports | Medal of Honor | Killed in Action |
Personnel Locator | Commanders | Station List | Campaigns |
Honors | Insignia & Memorabilia | 4-42 Artillery | Taps |
What's New | Editorial | Links |