Steve Foley Charged with DUI

September 14, 2006 12:21 p.m. EST

Christopher Cornell – All Headline News Staff Writer San Diego, CA
(AHN) – The consequences of Steve Foley’s bizarre night on the town in
San Diego a few weeks ago continued to pile up on Wednesday. Authorities
stated that they would seek drunken driving charges against the Chargers’
linebacker. The charges stem from an incident earlier this month in which
Foley was shot three times by an off-duty police officer.

Investigators have recommended that authorities seek misdemeanor DUI
charges against Foley. Charges have not been filed as of yet.

Early in the morning on September 3, Foley was shot at least three
times by an off-duty policeman. Foley was shot near his suburban home at
around four o’clock in the morning after the officer chased him for
several miles when he suspected the car was being driven by a drunk

Foley’s agent, David Levine, said that Foley was shot three times and
had surgery for wounds to his leg, arm and chest.

At about 3:30 a.m., an off-duty police officer began following a
suspected drunk driver around northbound Highway 163 and Highway 52.

The officer claimed the vehicle was weaving in and out of traffic,
reaching speeds of 90 mph. According to the policeman, the vehicle nearly
hit several other cars on the road.

Foley’s car stopped three different times while the officer pursued
them. Lisa Maree Gaut was identified as a passenger in the car. The
officer said that she yelled out the window during one of the car’s

When Foley reached a cul-de-sac in Poway, which is the neighborhood
where he lives, he got out of the car and began walking toward the
officer’s car. As Foley advanced toward the police car, Gaut got behind
the wheel of the car and followed Foley along his side. The officer
identified himself and fired a warning shot into some nearby bushes.

Upon hearing the shots, Gaut revved the engine and drove directly at
the officer, who had exited the car at that point. The officer fired two
shots at the car. Luckily, the car did not strike the officer.

Foley continued to walk toward the officer and then reached into his
pants with his right hand. That’s when the officer fired and hit Foley.
Foley acknowledged he had been shot, but he continued to come at the
officer, and the officer fired and hit him again, sending him to the

Foley was taken to a local hospital while the female passenger was
taken to the Poway sheriff’s station for questioning.

This is the second time in four and a half months that Foley has had a
run-in with the law. He was arrested April 21 on charges of resisting
arrest following a scuffle with police. He was booked on charges of
battery on a police officer and public drunkenness.

The officer that shot Foley, Aaron Mansker, has been placed on paid
administrative leave. Foley was hospitalized in fair condition and will
miss the season. He has been placed on the Chargers’ non-football related
injury list, and he will not be compensated for this season.

Foley played college football for Northeast Louisiana from 1994-97. He
has played eight NFL seasons for the Cincinnati, Houston and San Diego.
He signed with the Chargers in 2004. That year he had the best season of
his career: 64 tackles, 10 sacks, two interceptions and five forced

Foley was considered a team leader and one of the biggest impact
players in the Chargers’ 3-4 defense. He had 14 sacks over the last two


Foley case generates debate on pulling over By Alex Roth


Is a driver required to pull over when ordered to do so by a guy in an
unmarked car who claims to be a police officer? The answer, as a general
rule, is no, legal experts say.

The issue has been the topic of endless water-cooler debate in the
week since San Diego Chargers linebacker Steve Foley was shot by a
Coronado officer near the player’s Poway home at 3:41 a.m. Sept. 3.

The officer was off duty, wearing civilian clothes and driving his
civilian car – a black Mazda sedan – when he spotted Foley’s classic
Oldsmobile Cutlass weaving erratically on state Route 163.

Officer Aaron Mansker tried to get Foley to stop. Foley ignored the
officer’s commands, touching off a series of events that ended with the
officer shooting Foley three times after the player exited the car near
his house. In a court appearance Thursday, a lawyer for Lisa Maree Gaut,
a passenger in the Cutlass, said Foley thought the officer might be a
carjacker or an “overexuberant fan.†Under
state law, a person who refuses to pull over can’t be convicted of
evading a police officer unless the officer’s car has a red light and a
siren. Additionally, the officer must be in uniform and the officer’s car
must be “distinctively marked†as a
law-enforcement vehicle.

The reason for the wording of the statute is fairly obvious, legal
experts say: A driver shouldn’t be forced to stop unless he or she is
positive the person in the rear-view mirror is really a police

‘The Red Light Bandit’ Crimes and hoaxes have been committed by people
posing as cops. In perhaps the most notorious incident, a man dubbed
“The Red Light Bandit†terrorized Los
Angeles in the 1940s by posing as a police officer, pulling over cars and
then robbing and raping the drivers. Caryl Chessman was eventually
arrested and executed at San Quentin State Prison.

California appeals courts cite the Chessman case as justification for
the wording of Vehicle Code section 2800.1, the statute that deals with
evading police.

“People don’t have a duty to yield if a car is not
distinctively marked,†said Deputy Attorney General Zee
Rodriguez, who works in Los Angeles. “Even if the
person says they’re a police officer, how would you know? It could be

Rodriguez recently appeared before the California Supreme Court in a
case involving the statute’s interpretation.

The court ruled in June that in addition to having a red light and a
siren, the police officer’s vehicle must have “one or
more features that are reasonably visible to other drivers and
distinguish it from vehicles not used for law enforcement so as to give
reasonable notice to the person being pursued that the pursuit is by the

In e-mails to The San Diego Union-Tribune, some readers said they
would have done what Foley did under the circumstances: kept driving. The
risk is too great, these readers said, that the person claiming to be a
cop could be a criminal.

“I’m a 52-year-old Caucasian woman, and I’ll
guarantee you that under no circumstances would I have pulled
over,†wrote Janice Barnard, a document-management consultant
who lives in Del Mar. “If that person followed me home
and pulled a gun on my husband, I (would) do whatever necessary to stop

Even law-enforcement officials caution drivers against pulling over
without knowing for sure that the person ordering the stop is a peace
officer. In such circumstances, drivers should pull over only in
well-lit, well-populated areas, said Lt. Tim Henton of the El Cajon
Police Department.

What if the driver is on a dark, lonely stretch of countryside, with
no well-lit place in sight?

“Keep driving and get on the phone and call
911,†Henton said.

Depends on situation Given the potential for confusion, some police
departments caution officers not to intervene when they witness
relatively minor criminal offenses while off duty, said Richard Gregson,
executive director of the California Peace Officers’ Association. Should
the officer intervene if he or she sees someone driving drunk?

It depends, Gregson said.

Is the driver on a crowded freeway or a desolate country road? Is the
driver speeding? Weaving across traffic lanes? What are the odds the
driver might injure or kill somebody?

“To try to formulate a policy that would cover
every circumstance would probably require something the size of the IRS
code,†Gregson said.

Some police departments, including Oceanside’s, have written policies
governing an officer’s professional obligations when off duty.

If an Oceanside officer is within that city’s limits, he or she should
“take appropriate and reasonable action to protect
life and property, preserve the public peace, prevent crime, and cause
the apprehension of violators of criminal laws,†the
Oceanside manual states.

If the off-duty officer is outside Oceanside, he or she should
“assist any law enforcement officer who appears to be
in the need of immediate assistance and when feasible assist in the
apprehension of any felon.†The officer should also
“take appropriate and reasonable action where there
appears to exist a serious threat to life or property.â€

The policy also states: “If possible, off-duty
police officers shall call and use an on-duty officer for police

Bernard Gonzales, a spokesman for the Chula Vista police department,
said Chula Vista officers are trained to be “good
witnesses†when off duty. As a general rule, they are
supposed to use their law-enforcement powers only when someone poses
“an imminent danger†to the public.

“Then we ask them to involve themselves as sworn
professional law-enforcement agents,†Gonzales said.

Alex Roth: (619) 542-4558; [email protected]

Football player shot under suspicious circumstances
By Ian Logsdon Retriever Weekly Editorial Staff

Prior to this week I had never heard of Steve Foley, one of the
linebackers for the San Diego Chargers. Prior to this week, that is, when
he was shot twice by an off-duty police officer. Let me amend that, shot
twice by an off-duty police officer in an unmarked car. That is, shot
twice by an off duty police officer in an unmarked car and civilian
clothes. Also the officer was out of his jurisdiction. How, you ask, did
this happen? How did this athlete come near mortal peril? The story is
even funnier than you could imagine. The police officer noticed Foley
driving erratically, weaving in and out of lanes and speeding. So what
did he do? Well, he pulled up next to him at a stop sign and yelled that
he was a cop and that Foley should pull over. I don’t know about you, but
I wouldn’t pull over for some random guy shouting at me about being a
cop. In fact, that is the last thing I would consider doing, especially
if I were a wealthy football player whose face was always on area
television. So what happened next? The officer followed Foley and
eventually Foley got out of his car. The officer presented his gun to
Foley as proof that he was a cop, and Foley reacted by saying, "Thats a
BB gun," then got back in his car. When they got to Foley’s cul de sac,
the officer was apparently boxed into the neighborhood and felt
threatened. Foley got out, and the woman he was with started driving
toward the officer. He fired a warning shot at a bush, then started
shooting at the car. The officer claims Foley reached into his pants and
at that point he fired a round at him. Foley acknowledged he was shot and
kept walking towards him. The second shot put him on the ground. Backup
arrived a minute later.

Now, I know it seems cliche to bring race into the discussion, so that
isn’t where I’m going with it. Of course it is worth noting Foley didn’t
have a gun and most of the story relies on the officer’s depiction of
what happened. The "reaching into his pants" does seem to resemble the
sprinkle-some-crack-on-him-and-frame-him tactics so humorously described
by Dave Chapelle. No, I’m coming at this from the view of a citizen
concerned about government intrusion. Usually there is a rhyme or reason
for the circumstances leading to a police shooting, whether or not it is
justified. In this case, the officer put himself and Foley into an
awkward and dangerous situation where neither could trust the other. If
you don’t have your badge or uniform on you, how exactly can you try and
enforce the law? Without identification, you are a normal citizen and it
is not your place to shoot someone who does not believe your credentials.
Add into this equation the fact that Foley may or may not have been
drinking and you realize that the officer was completely in the wrong.
That being said, I am also disgusted with the behavior of the player, if
in fact he was drunk. He is an athlete, a very gifted one, and his
abilities shouldn’t be put on the line with dangerous stunts like drunk
driving. Add to that the fact that he is a role model to children, and
you really can’t excuse his behavior. This is, of course, if he was drunk
at the time. But what is important to note is that Foley did not deserve
to be shot for drunk driving. If the officer was so concerned he should
have waited for backup, instead of going in John Wayne style. We have no
reason to simply obey police officers when they are out of their
jurisdiction. However, we also have a responsibility to follow the law to
the extent that it is fairly implemented. Things being as they are, I
would like to reflect on one last aspect of this case. How amazingly
tough is Foley? I mean he was drunk and shot and he still kept coming.
Who in their right mind would want to go up against him next time he
plays a football game? Before people respected him, now they better fear
him. Just like Ray Lewis, encounters with the cops make you look

Ian Logsdon is the Retriever Weekly Opinion Editor and can be reached
for comment at [email protected].

Copyright: The Retriever Weekly Source:

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