HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A Los Angeles police officer faces charges of committing a lewd act in public Wednesday after being arrested in Huntington Beach.
Ryan Eric Galliher, 33, of Huntington Beach, was arrested last Thursday at 7:33 a.m. after detectives observed him committing a lewd act along an open pathway on Bolsa Chica Street, south of Los Patos Avenue, according to Huntington Beach police spokesman Lt. Mitch O’Brien. There were no victims in the area at the time besides the detectives.
Galliher was subsequently identified as an off-duty LAPD officer, assigned to the Southwest Division.
Police had received several reports of a man exposing himself in the wetlands at the dead end of Bolsa Chica Street, so detectives were in the area conducting surveillance, O’Brien said.
Galliher was booked at Huntington Beach City Jail and has since been released from custody with a pending court date, he said.
The LAPD was notified and is cooperating with the investigation, Huntington Beach police officials said, and Galliher has been placed on administrative leave.
“It is appropriate that I reserve judgment on this matter until all of the facts have been gathered and the investigations have been completed,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement. “However, let me be very clear, I will not tolerate any behavior that reflects negatively upon this department and tarnishes our relationship with our communities near or far.”
O’Brien said the report on the arrest was delayed so detectives could question people who complained about a man exposing himself. No charges have been filed yet, he said.
KCAL9’s Stacey Butler on Wednesday spoke to many women who jog on the trail. She said many were on edge.
“Thank God I didn’t see him or he didn’t see me, but it hits really close to home,” said Holly Pollard.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he won’t comment on this case specifically while its under investigation.
He did say, “I will not tolerate any behavior that reflects negatively upon this department and tarnishes our relationship with our communities near or far.”
Police also said until other potential victims or witnesses could identify Galliher in a lineup they will not release his photo.
Anyone with information or may have also been a victim can call the Huntington Beach police tip line at (714) 375-5066.