SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — A 36-year veteran of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department died Tuesday night from injuries he suffered in a New Year’s Eve attack, the department announced.
The San Bernardino Police Department confirmed late Tuesday that a suspect in the apparent road rage attack on 70-year-old deputy Larry Falce has been taken into custody. No further details were released.
The department says Falce was driving his own car when he got into a minor car accident at University Avenue and Kendall Drive in San Bernardino. Investigators say the person in the other car beat Falce unconscious and he suffered a blow to the head. He died after two days in the hospital. Falce was the oldest deputy to serve on the department.
At 10 p.m., a procession was held for Falce from the Loma Linda Medical Center to the coroner’s office.
“He prided himself as being a lifelong public servant, who cared deeply about this profession,” Lt. Sarkis Ohannessian said in a press release. “Larry was loved by his peers and the community members he served. More importantly, he cared about so many people he called family.”
Deputies at the procession were too emotional to go on camera. Those who knew him said he was a man who loved the community he served. Falce is survived by his longtime girlfriend, his sister and a nephew.
“He was one of a kind, everybody that ever knew you, knows that,” his sister Marjorae Falce-Jorgensen told reporters late Tuesday night. “And you’re gonna leave a hole.”
“That made me beyond proud that he was one of the oldest deputies I’ve ever known, and I know a lot of them,” his nephew Robert Morrissey said. “And the fact that everyone was convincing him, ‘You need to retire, you need to stop.’ And he was like, ‘Nope, I’m gonna keep on going. As long as I’m riding around in a marked patrol vehicle,’ he would be happy.”
Before joining the department in 1981, Falce served in the U.S. Army.