Chief Derails Charity Event For Slain Officer Because Republicans Were Invited

Thousand Oaks Police Chief Tim Hagel brought the Blue Bowl event to a screeching halt in the eleventh hour.

Update: Sgt. Helus' family members and Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub have released statements since this story was initially published. They have been included below in the original story.

Thousand Oaks, CA – The Thousand Oaks police chief has derailed a fundraising event aimed at helping the widow of a Ventura County sheriff’s sergeant who was murdered in the line of duty during a mass shooting in 2018.

The Blue Bowl, a charity flag football event, was slated to be held at Newbury Park High School on Oct. 6, in honor of slain Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, KTTV reported.

Under the direction of Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub, Sgt. Helus’ own department also refused to be involved with the fundraiser.

Sgt. Helus, a 29-year veteran-of-the-force, was one of 12 people who were killed during the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on Nov. 7, 2018.

The Los Angels Rams had already donated jerseys emblazoned with Sgt. Helus’ name in preparation for the event, KTTV reported.

The NFL team was also slated to autograph footballs with the fallen sergeant’s photo on them, and donors kicked in thousands of dollars to help fund the charity event.

But according to Fallen Officers Foundation Vice President Mike Randall, everything came to a screeching halt when Thousand Oaks Police Chief Tim Hagel learned that some of the speakers scheduled for charity event are Republicans, KTTV reported.

Randall said he initially received a text from Chief Hagel expressing his concern that those speakers would cause local political issues.

In a subsequent phone call, the police chief allegedly asked Randall why people who support President Trump were included in the bipartisan list of speakers scheduled to address the crowd.

"He basically said over and over in the conversation ‘this is not Trump country,’ that slogan 'Make America Great' is not favorable, popular, within 1,200 square miles, that we don’t want Republicans here,” Randall told KTTV.

“I could not believe it...We were totally floored by this comment, 'the only thing,' and I quote, 'the only thing you coulda made this worse, Mike, was to invite dick Cheney and Sarah Huckabee Sanders,' and I went...wow are you kidding me?" Randall recounted.

According to Randall, Chief Hagel told him that he needed to ax the Republican speakers, or else he would tell local politicians and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) to withdraw from their involvement with the Blue Bowl charity event, KTTV reported.

But Randall refused to comply with the chief’s order.

Chief Hagel later spoke with Sheriff Ayub, then notified Randall that they were pulling out of the event altogether.

"He goes 'yeah, this ain’t gonna work for us,'” Randall told KTTV. “I said you’re not gonna support this with the honor guard and he goes 'no we’re not bringing the honor guard, we’re not coming, we’re not going to be there, [we’re] not supporting it.’”

As a result, politicians and sponsors also abandoned the charity event, causing it to be postponed indefinitely.

Sheriff Ayub later released a statement blaming the organizers of the Blue Bowl for taking “a direction” that the VCSO didn’t support.

“The ‘Blue Bowl’ event was represented as a charitable flag football tournament to raise funds for the family of Sergeant Ron Helus. An event that would honor Ron’s memory and provide support to his wife Karen and son Jordan,” Sheriff Ayub said in the statement to KTTV.

“As the event began to materialize, we became concerned with the behavior of some of the organizers of the event,” the sheriff continued. “Although I believe the organizers had good intentions, the event was moving in a direction we no longer felt comfortable supporting.”

Singer Joy Villa, who was slated to perform the National Anthem at the Blue Bowl, said she was “appalled” when she learned why the event was cancelled, KTTV reported.

“You’re shutting down an event because of the way conservatives think, because I support the president?” Villa railed, according to the news outlet. “This is disgusting, I’m appalled, and in all my years being an out conservative, I’ve never seen something so despicable like this.”

The funds raised for the Blue Bowl event – somewhere between $9,000 and $10,000 – will be returned to donors, KTTV reported.

Although Chief Hagel managed to postpone the event, Randall said his foundation won’t back off its commitment to help Sgt. Helus’ family.

"Ron Helus was a true hero,” Randall told KTTV. “He saved lives that night. Did he run in and go 'Are you Republican or Democrat or independent, I need to know before I help you?' No, they don’t.”

“You’ve messed with the wrong foundation," he said.

In a press release on Wednesday evening, Sheriff Ayub explained why he decided to withdraw from the charity event.

The release also included statements from Sgt. Helus’ widow and son.

Sheriff Ayub noted that the VCSO has been involved in multiple successful fundraisers for the mass shooting victims and Sgt. Helus’ family in the wake of the attack.

“To date, every event has been successful, lifelong friendships have been established, and people of all faiths and all political views stood hand-in-hand because the focus was exactly where it needed to be - on the victims and their families,” the sheriff wrote.

But when it came to the Blue Bowl, things changed.

“I initially gave my approval for support of the event organized by this out-of-state group,” he said. “As we drew closer to the actual event, they seemed to become more focused on political agendas, and less and less so on the victims and their families. I felt it was in the best interest of the department, the victims, and our community to not directly participate in the event.”

Sheriff Ayub alleged that the organizers of the Blue Bowl subsequently “launched a vicious and calculated social media campaign” against his office and Chief Hagel.

The sheriff argued that Chief Hagel has “been both professionally and personally involved with all those impacted by the Borderline tragedy,” and that he also attended every funeral service and nearly every fundraising event held in their honor.

“His focus has been and continues to remain on what is best for those impacted by this tragedy and what is best for Ventura County,” Sheriff Ayub wrote.

Sgt. Helus’ widow, Karen Helus, said that the VCSO has been extremely supportive of her and her family since her husband’s death.

“I am saddened and disappointed that a charity fundraiser has turned into politically charged national news story,” Karen’s statement read. “Since the tragic events of last November, I have intentionally avoided relating political causes to the loss of my husband. Unfortunately, the politics surrounding this flag football event turned into a distraction from the cause it was meant to highlight.”

She noted that she has personally met with President Donald Trump on multiple occasions, and that she continues to “respect and support him due to his unwavering support of my family and all law enforcement.”

Sgt. Helus’ son, Jordan Helus, also defended Chief Hagel and the VCSO.

“[Chief Hagel] is not a rogue chief of police and he is in no way any of the negative things some members of the community [the one he continues to love and support] are calling him,” Jordan said. “Knowing him personally, he is a kind hearted man who does not deserve to be treated in any other fashion as such.”

Jordan echoed Sheriff Ayub’s statements regarding the “agenda” of the Blue Bowl, and noted that it seemed to change “from honoring the fallen, to becoming a political platform to speak and express personal views.”

“The VCSO has no issue with freedom of speech coming from any political affiliation, but the purpose of the event was not to discuss politics on a stage that the deaths of 12 people created,” he wrote.

Jordan also noted that he does not believe the Blue Bowl organizers did “anything wrong” when they invited “individuals from a variety of political views, beliefs, and mindsets” to the charity event.

“Where they went wrong, was taking conversation between them and the VCSO out of context and try to paint Tim Hagel as the villain,” he declared. “There was no villain. No one was in the wrong. The focus of the event changed and the VCSO no longer wanted to be affiliated with the newly perceived focus of politics.”

“The only wrong done was slander on the part of the organizers,” he wrote, adding that he supports the VCSO’s decision to withdraw from the event.

“My hope is that this was all a huge miscommunication and that the Blue Bowl organizers did not intend for the event to turn into a political stage,” Jordan concluded.

Sgt. Helus was among the first law enforcement officers to respond to the scene of the Borderline Bar & Grill mass shooting.

“When he heard gunfire, he went in and that’s something [we] would expect from Ron,” Ventura County then-Sheriff Geoff Dean said at the time, according to KCBS.

"He was willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of others," Sheriff Dean noted, according to NBC News. "He ran into danger — he didn't walk."

Sgt. Helus was shot multiple times after he entered the building, and was later pulled to safety by a California Highway Patrol trooper, CBS News reported.

The 54-year-old sergeant was rushed to a local hospital, where he died at approximately 2 a.m. on Nov. 8.

The gunman murdered 11 other people during the attack, and wounded 10 to 15 more, Sheriff Dean said, according to CNN.

The attacker was later found dead inside the bar.

In December of 2018, Sheriff Ayub announced that one of the six rounds that hit Sgt. Helus during the mass shooting was fired by a fellow officer.

The mass shooter fired the other five rounds that struck the sergeant, then turned the gun on himself, USA Today reported.

The round fired by a fellow officer struck Sgt. Helus in the heart, killing him, Sheriff Ayub said.

Former Sheriff Dean described Sgt. Helus as a “hardworking, dedicated” public servant, CBS News reported.

"It's so tragic losing Ron," Sheriff Dean said, according to CNN. "We go to the gym together, work out together. It's horrific and terrible and it saddens our hearts."

The married father-of-one had given nearly three decades of his life to his department, and planned to retire in about a year.

"He went in to save lives, to save other people," Sheriff Dean said at the time. "He was totally committed, he gave his all, and tonight, as I told his wife, he died a hero.”

Comments (60)
No. 1-35
Lesstalkmoreaction
Lesstalkmoreaction

Gee, a petty democrat. Who knew?

User2
User2

Wow, way to go idoit Chief Tim Hagel, so YOU DON'T SUPPORT your officers!

T00R
T00R

Dispicable. This event had nothing to do with politics. I hope he's proud of himself. Has this Bozo done anything to benefit the family to replace what he took from them? What a loser. I would be ashamed to work for him.

Ryerver
Ryerver

I am at a loss for words here. I just don't understand the level of hate in the liberal left. I wonder if his dept will attend his funeral when he passes on?

Jakryan
Jakryan

So, gather other people who are not so narrow minded and bigoted and do it without these idiots. If they want to look like spoiled brats who take their ball home when the game doesn’t go their way, screw em! Set it, get the word out to other states, i have full confidence you will be overwhelmed with the support you get back.

TroyS
TroyS

Thousand Oaks Police Chief Tim Hagel you are a slimey scummy piece of human waste for doing this. May you rot in hell for this embarrassment.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

how dare the Fallen Officers Foundation invite Republicans to a bipartisan event to raise funds for the family of a fallen officer!!!! And for the officer's own department to boycott an event to help one of their own because of political pettiness?

and it's even more outrageous that they would have the audacity to invite the people who tend to be more supportive of law enforcement!!! /sarcasm for those who missed it.

MSK
MSK

Oh My God!!, This is incredible. This chief AND the current sherif are just terrible human beings. Republicans like and support law enforcement where democrats hate and persecute cops and call cops racists. Yet, these two a-holes won’t support a fundraiser for a law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty because republicans were going to attend???? SMFH! I pray President Trump hears this event was cancelled and why. I’m sure he will see to it that the sergeants family is taken care of.

AndyD1134
AndyD1134

I hope that Democratic Douchebag needs the help of police some day and they refuse and he is "unfortunately" a victim. I know that most police would still help anyways, but people like him deserve to go to hell, wearing a gasoline G-string

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

Partisan Bullshyt over the welfare and well being of the family of a LEO who was killed in the line of duty. This absolutely sickens me and this partisan turd should be called to task on it.

RobinMcE
RobinMcE

Time to vote his dumbass out!

tfort
tfort

Fake news.

Bud
Bud

It is a close race to be the top idiot, between the Chief and the Sheriff. These are really sick people that would let politics come between everyone. I thank God every day that I don't live in California, and this is another reason why I won't stand behind either party.

Theendisnear
Theendisnear

Shall remain political neutral while in uniform.... chief should resign...

101
101

Cali is becoming a $hit hole

JBo
JBo

It's a charity event! You can't put petty politics aside to help the family of an officer who gave his life trying to help others? I know it's California but the officer's own sheriff too?

EricWJohn
EricWJohn

I have a hard time accepting this story at face value. There has to be more to it...

Howver, if it is true, I concur that the Chief and Sheriff are lowlife scum!

Vinny6922
Vinny6922

This nation is falling apart because of the liberal agenda. This guy is a true POS and to think, we have connections and are in Thousand Oaks daily. Step down prick

Bullseye23
Bullseye23

POS chief and sheriff. Gutless spineless trash.

ikaika
ikaika

I feel like we're living in the Twilight Zone, or on another planet. When this shit happens, I can't believe it's real. It's bad enough when the cop-hating comes from liberal politicians, but when it comes from LEO leadership, it's an atrocity.

rds40
rds40

Liberal scum Chief.

Sargejh
Sargejh

Tweet your thoughts directly to Hagel @hageltim and to his office @cityofto I did. ‪@hageltim I just read about your petulant reaction to the upcoming event regarding a fallen brother. I’m a 36 years retired police officer. This is the most disgusting and cowardly act I’ve ever seen a police administrator take. You’ve brought shame to yourself. ‬

Inquirer63
Inquirer63

How is an event “bipartisan” if you exclude one party? And, leave it to Lefties to inject politics into EVERYTHING, even a memorial event. Shameful action.

Gramercy
Gramercy

WOW! UNBELIEVABLE! SO bigoted....I guess in todays world it would be termed "racist"....cannot believe the levels to which people lower themselves and ask others too follow down the steep and evil path! No excuse! No excuse. So sorry I am for the family of the deceased officer....words cannot implore what should now be done to right such a wonderful situation turned so tragically wrong by the evil thoughts of one!

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

It is illegal to discriminate against someone for their skin color, religious beliefs, age, and other factors. Why isn’t someone’s political belief included?

This chief should be fired.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

He would not say whether the bullet fired by the CHP officer hit Helus from the front or the back. Helus was positioned between Long and the officer when he entered the bar, authorities said. L.D. Maples, chief of the CHP’s Coastal Division, said the round was “targeted toward the suspect.”

Ayub said officials were investigating whether the gun misfired or the officer mistook Helus for Long.

gdmn2find8
gdmn2find8

So, Police Chief Douche bag and Sheriff Anal wipe. you apparently don't believe in justice under the law and there should be no bias within a Police/Sheriff department. I am not surprised to hear this coming from a Police Chief, they are normally appointed by the Mayor who is this case is probably a Democrat, I am somewhat surprised at the Sheriff who is normally elected. Granted, you may serve a liberal county, but you deputies put their lives on the line for the people who live there regardless of party affiliation. at least I hope so. It is apparent that the two of you are worthless political hacks, who like Nancy Pelosi would be willing to basically burn the House down in order to impeach President Trump. And the Democrats have been accusing him of committing crimes that Democrats actually committed, Hillary and Obama with Russian collusion and Biden and his son with Ukraine and corruption.

magnumforc
magnumforc

Sad that the honoring of and memory of a fallen officer is denigrated due to politics. Maybe the chief and sheriff should be first in to the next shooting? rDemocrats have destroyed California and hey, there are millions of Republicans and even more conservatives in California that get outvoted by asswipes like this chief.

DarrellB
DarrellB

Everyone needs to check out the same story on Fox 11. It is much more FAIR, balanced, and includes the statements from the widow and son!

Marine.001
Marine.001

Chief Hagel would be a perfect fit for Portland PD. They’d love him up there and probably promote him to Commissioner in charge of all of Oregon. I’m a republican and Trump does say some stupid shit but I really think the Hagel parents had to be 1st or 2nd cousins

Joespappa
Joespappa

Another Nazi dumbacrat. Why does this surprise anyone anymore. They are going to try to STIFLE anyone they don't like. And they claim to be open minded. Sorry scum is what they are.

tfort
tfort

This is nothing more than a money grab for this woman. The only reason she is upset is because her pockets will not be stuffed with cash. Shameful.

Danimyl
Danimyl

So he made a political event out of he thought may be a political event. Typical Demoncrap logic. Democrats just carrying on it's traditional division

JohnP
JohnP

Chief Hagel is a COWARD!

J10107
J10107

Politics at it's very best!!!

The chief and sheriff are getting themselves ready for a political run and are acting like the vile POS they're going to be in office.