Drunk and disorderly charge dismissed against former Bear Valley officer who accidentally shot himself on New Year’s Eve

Crime Watch

MOJAVE, Calif. (KGET) — A drunk and disorderly charge has been dismissed against a former Bear Valley police officer who accidentally shot himself at a New Year’s Eve celebration.

The Superior Court’s Mojave division had offered a diversion program to Chad Foss months ago in part because he had no prior record, according to the District Attorney’s office. On Thursday, documentation was presented to the court showing the former officer had completed the terms of the program including attending 10 Alcoholics Anonymous classes, and the misdemeanor charge was dismissed.

A sergeant with the Bear Valley Police Department confirmed Foss is no longer employed there.

Deputies learned Foss had been drinking and “manipulating a firearm that was concealed on his person” when the gun went off in the bar area of the Oak Tree Country Club in Tehachapi, according to a court filing. Bear Valley police initially responded, but the investigation was handed over to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

Foss had red, watery eyes and “extreme” difficulty in carrying on a conversation with deputies who tried to interview him, the filing said. He was treated at Kern Medical.

Several days after the incident, Police Chief Tim Melanson said, “Such carelessness does not reflect the values and professional standards of this department. I want to assure Bear Valley residents that the Bear Valley Police Department is committed to a course of action that will prevent this type of incident from ever repeating itself.”

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