Pedestrian Killed by Sheriff’s Patrol Car in WeHo Is Identified

Flowers left on Santa Monica Boulevard near the MTA depot in memory of Jonathan Peña.
Flowers left on Santa Monica Boulevard near the MTA depot in memory of Jonathan Peña.

The man killed on Thursday when he was hit by an out-of-control Sheriff’s patrol car on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood has been identified as Jonathan Peña.

Jonathan Peña
Jonathan Peña

Peña, 27, lived on June Street in Hollywood and was working in West Hollywood as the desk clerk at the Holloway Motel. Peña, who was gay, also had worked at a gay clothing store in West Hollywood’s Boystown, which is the area where the accident took place

The other pedestrian hit by the patrol car has been identified as Michael Fong, 39, a cardiologist at USC and a an associate professor of clinical medicine in radiology. Fong remains in critical condition at a hospital. An  online search identified him as living on Huntley Drive in WeHo.

The two deputies in the patrol car also remain hospitalized. NBC 4 identified one of them as a four-year veteran deputy who is a former Marine. One of the deputies was trapped in the patrol car and had to be rescued from it. Their names have not yet been released.

The accident occurred around 11:15 p.m. on Thursday when the deputy driving the patrol car headed down Santa Monica Boulevard near San Vicente to respond to a complaint about one spouse attacking another. Sheriff’s deputies have said that the deputy’s car clipped the rear end of a car in front of it and spun out of control. It crossed the sidewalk on the south side of Santa Monica in front of the MTA bus depot and hit Peña and Fong as they were walking on the sidewalk. Peña was found under the patrol car.

Michael Fong
Michael Fong

WEHOville contacted friends and co-workers of Peña who were devastated by his death. Tony Powell, manager of the Holloway Motel, said Peña had been an ideal front desk worker with a great personality. Powell said he had heard that Peña was the victim of the Thursday accident but wasn’t able to confirm that until he called the L.A. County Coroner’s Office. Powell said he called Peña’s mother on Saturday to break the news to her. He said the company that owns the motel has agreed to pay for Peña’s funeral if his family cannot afford to. Peña’s family has launched an online campaign to help cover his funeral expenses.

Henry, a friend of Peña’s who asked that his last name not be used out of concern for his privacy, said Peña was a aspiring artist. “He was always very spritely, he was always bouncing,” Henry said. “He loved drawing comic book stuff and art. He was definitely trying to figure out what he wanted to do in the form of a longer-term career. Before Holloway he was at USA Hostels, often doing a front desk shift there. He liked that. It was all backpackers, students, a young lively kind of crowd, same age range, same kind of artistic type.”

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the incident. Witnesses have said the patrol car had its emergency lights and siren on when it entered Santa Monica Boulevard.


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Franki
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Franki

The City must pay multimillions to both families no matter what and filing a Govt claim must be addressed but reality is I been hit and almost dead too many times in hit and run and our Sheriff agencies need to be the fully responsible ones to know how to NOT OVERSPEED as there was no need as I been an interventionist in DV and Recovery calls where they did not show up and I almost died from attack without their support so being in persuit would rationalize high speed but the sheriffs were NOT IN PERSUIT–case closed and this… Read more »

D.R.
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D.R.

I am saddened by this news, I just found out today. He was such a sweet kid, kind, gentle and full of life. Bless you Johnny. My heart is heavy. Bless you…

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Update on Dr. Fong….”STABLE”
no further
not sure what hospital he’s in. Since he is
stable he might be at Keck or Cedars.

Judson Greene
Guest
Judson Greene

The fact of the matter is the Sheriff’s department is cycling out of the County Jail system bad ass macho chip on the shoulder aggressive towards the GLBT community. That county mentality fosters a breed of people who see any eye contact, questions and inquiries as a direct challenge to their authority. Those they are charged with protecting foster their is against them mentality. These Sheriff’s are dangerous, reckless, trigger happy people. Release the names of those that did the killing. It’s time that West Hollywood suck it up and develop our own police department that is community based and… Read more »

fine7760
Guest

A police department is more than officers driving around answering calls. There has to be a training section, detectives to investigate crimes, a crime lab and a support staff doing all the clerical work. Lastly a retirement system that must be funded and administered.

Mario Peña
Guest
Mario Peña

For those who wish to say good bye to Jonathan, the funeral service will be on Saturday 10/24/2015 at Rose Hills Mortuary, 3888 Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA 90601from 5:00-8:00 pm.

Hudson
Guest
Hudson

How many tragedies need to happen in this city before the police are held responsible! Still waiting to hear what happened to the officer who shot and killed and innocent victim on Palm.
RIP!

Lavinia Brooks
Guest
Lavinia Brooks

Dr. Michael Fong is a brilliant and caring man. He recently treated me at Keck USC Hospital when I had a heart transplant. I am very saddened by this tragedy. Vinn

erik
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erik

when and where is the memorial service for jon?

Arnold
Guest
Arnold

May God be with you cousin. We won’t forget you. From A Peña. I hope the police does the right thing and doesn’t cover up this tragedy and takes responsibility. Also my prayers go to Mr. Michael Fong for a fast recovery.

Reyna lopez
Guest
Reyna lopez

Descanza en paz mi querido jonathan tengo buenos recuerdos tuuyos mi hijo con mucho amor .tia Reyna

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

Whether is was a mechanical failure, a freak accident or simply reckless behavior, the matter needs to be investigated in an open fashion. While a lawsuit may bring out the true facts, litigation will not necessarily make an investigation public as the Sheriff’s Department will often negotiate a confidentiality clause as part of any settlement. While an investigation will not bring these young men back, as employers of the Sheriff’s Department we, the people of West Hollywood, have a right to see that if there were mistakes made, that they are corrected so that we don’t see a repeat this… Read more »