San Bernardino, CA - The murder of a 36-year veteran San Bernadino Deputy was captured on video, as well a a good Samaritan ramming the killer's car.
Law enforcement officials are furious that the murderer, who was convicted and sent to prison for gang member street terrorism and possession of a gun in 2012, was walking free in society and able to commit the heinous attack on a much-loved, 70-year-old deputy.
"This person needs to spend the rest of his life in prison," said San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos.
Deputy Falce’s was off duty on Dec. 31, 2017 when Smith rear-ended him in his personal vehicle.
Surveillance video of the area showed Deputy Falce out of his vehicle, standing in front of Smith’s truck, appearing to talk to the suspect.
Suddenly, Smith aggressively approached Deputy Falce and seemingly without warning, punched him in the head, knocking him to the ground and unconscious.
Smith jumped back in his truck and tried to get away. A good Samaritan in a large white vehicle then rammed the suspect's vehicle to try to prevent his escape, but the killer got away.
The killer was arrested that night at his girlfriend’s house.
Authorities have said that if it wasn’t for “all the liberals up in Sacramento,” the San Bernardino community’s longest-serving deputy would still be alive.
The district attorney spoke angrily about the murder in a press conference on Wednesday, and said the murder charge was just the beginning for Smith.
“We also will be adding enhancements – we’ve already added an enhancement. But I will indicate to you that this Alfonzo Smith, this defendant in this matter, we consider a career criminal,” Ramos said.
The district attorney called Smith “an admitted gang member.”
“We need to get this career criminal off the streets that’s been in prisons and jails ever since, ever since he was able to be tried as an adult,” he said.
Ramos explained that “the Rodriguez case,” which changed the way that strikes can be applied in the Three Strikes Rule, was the reason that Smith was out of prison, despite the fact that he’d been sent away for 12 years in 2012.
“He was going to serve 12 years for the street terrorism as a gang member … they said you could not file that charge because he was alone in that car with a gun. Even though he admitted, even though he had tattoos, and admitted he was a gang member. Because the law changed under the case of Rodriguez that said if you’re going to file something like that, you need at least two gang members,” he said.
“Another very frustrating factor is the laws regarding gangs is interpreted and given this, I’ll say liberal slant, to help these gang members,” Ramos said.
He explained how the court justified releasing Smith from prison despite the fact he was a career criminal with a history of felony convictions.
“Back then he was a gang member with a handgun with a weapon. He was convicted of street terrorism with use of a gun. And the appellate courts decided under the case of Rodriguez that because the gang member was by himself without another gang member in the car, that you couldn’t hold him responsible for that crime because a ‘gang member’ has to have somebody else with him,” Ramos said.
Ramos, and other law enforcement officials, are angry with state legislators.
“We’re having to deal with that all the time. They continue to go after our enhancements. They continue to take away our tools to fight gang members, these local terrorists. And it’s very, very frustrating,” the district attorney said. “And look what happens and results like this. It’s something that needs to change.”
Ramos said that the new laws being passed are making California a less safe place. He said it’s become almost impossible to add much-needed enhancements to felony crime charges.
“Prop 64 was the proposition that was pushed by some folks up in Sacramento to get rid of strikes on Three Strikes cases,” he explained.
He said it’s getting very difficult to utilize the Three Strikes Rule.
“But now because of Prop 64 and all the liberals up in Sacramento, they’re going to fight that,” he said.
“They’re going to fight that as they indicate to you that these are non- serious, non-violent felonies. Bulls**t!” Ramos said angrily.
“I am sick, as the DA of San Bernardino County, of having to deal with these people, especially when they take the life of one of our community members, our deputy. And we’re going to fight like hell to make sure that enhancement sticks,” he said.
“And I don’t care what we have to do, if we have to take it all the way to the California Supreme Court,” Ramos committed.
Ramos reminded people that Deputy Falce, like all law enforcement officers, was a real person.
“I’m getting tired of this. I’m human, we’re human too. They have families these officers. And they have to deal with this when we all go home, and you go home. I’m going to guarantee you that we’re going to hold this person responsible. I have the best lawyers assigned to it,” he promised.
Authorities have said that thus far, they have had no indication that Deputy Falce, who was off-duty and not in uniform at the time of the attack, identified himself as a “peace officer.”
“But they’re going back to see if there’s a previous encounter, which could potential change the dynamic of what this case is,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan.
Smith had been arrested multiple times by San Bernardino police and sheriff’s deputies, so there is a possibly he had previously encountered Deputy Falce, and recognized him the day he attacked him.
“As I indicated Larry worked the street in the San Bernardino area for 32 years. That’s a long time. And he was a very productive proactive deputy sheriff that loved his job,” San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said.
“Larry should be remembered as an honorable man who dedicated his entire adult life to his country. The United States Army, and then 36 years serving the citizens of San Bernardino County as a deputy sheriff with our department,” Sheriff McMahon said.
Deputy Falce grew up in the San Bernardino community, and worked as a patrol officer for 32 years. He also coordinated the East Valley Search and Rescue team for the past several years, the sheriff said.
Smith was arraigned Wednesday morning and pleaded not guilty. He faces a charge of murder and other charges related to prior felony convictions.
He can also look forward to enhancements to the charges, and vigorous prosecution, as promised by the district attorney.
You can see the video of Smith's attack on Deputy Falce below: