Ex-LAPD Officer Mitch Grobeson Pleads Not Guilty to Felony Assault Charges

Mitchell Grobeson, the former L.A. Police Department officer known for his fight against discrimination against gays in the department, was charged today with assault with a firearm and criminal threats stemming from a dispute with his husband on Friday. Grobeson pled not guilty to the
two felony charges, which include an allegation that he personally used a handgun. He was ordered
to be held in lieu of $100,000 bail while awaiting his next court appearance
March 28 at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles.

Mitchell  Grobeson
Mitchell Grobeson
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Grobeson pointed a handgun at his husband last week to force him out of their home at 800 West Knoll Drive. The husband subsequently contacted the sheriff’s department, asking for help to remove some of his belongings from the home, prosecutors
said.

When the deputies arrived at the home shortly after 10 a.m. Friday, Grobeson allegedly barricaded himself inside, beginning the standoff, which led to a blocking of West Knoll Drive and parts of Santa Monica Boulevard until 2 p.m. Friday.

“Crisis Negotiation Team personnel made contact with the suspect requesting him to come out of the residence,” according to a sheriff’s department statement. “The suspect agreed and surrendered to Special Weapons Team personnel without incident.”

Grobeson faces up to 14 years in state prison if convicted as charged, prosecutors said.

Mitchell Grobeson, known for launching a lengthy battle in 1988 to force the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to end discrimination against gay officers, has been identified as the man who barricaded himself with a gun in his apartment at 800 West Knoll Drive on Friday.

Grobeson, 57, a former LAPD sergeant, was arrested after assaulting his longtime boyfriend. An L.A. Sheriff’s Department SWAT team showed up at his apartment around 10 a.m. Friday along with a crisis negotiation team. The situation led to the blocking of West Knoll and the eastbound lanes of Santa Monica Boulevard until about 2 p.m., when the crisis negotiation team talked Grobeson into surrendering. He was booked into jail in protective custody and is being held on $250,000 bail.

Mitchell Grobeson, right, with AHF CEO Michael Weinstein, left, and gay Indian Prince Manvendra
Mitchell Grobeson, right, with AHF CEO Michael Weinstein, left, and gay Indian Prince Manvendra

The assault is likely to lead to Grobeson being charged with corporal injury against a spouse, which can be ruled a misdemeanor with a potential sentence of up to one year in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $6,000, or as a felony, punished by as many as four years in California state prison. Earlier reports said Grobeson also had threatened to commit suicide and shoot anyone who approached him.

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Jim Koran
Jim Koran
4 years ago

I totally agree with the comments above.
Mitch caused this situation to escalate by making one poor decision after another.
But the fact he also had a gun and possible other weapons and brandished the gun (allegedly) at his partner only makes this situation an even more dangerous and unpredictable one for all involved. Thankfully no one was injured or killed.
But we all have to sometimes pay for our foolish actions, and Mitch is no exception.

Rhett
Rhett
4 years ago

Mr. Murillo: The LAPD had nothing to do with this. The LASD responded because Weho is their jurisdiction. The story is pretty simple. Mitch pointed a gun and threatened his husband the night before. The husband had no place to go and slept in his car. The next day Mitch refused to let him in and pointed the gun again. The husband rightly called the LASD to get his belongings out. Mitch has a large gun and knife collection. The LASD rightfully ordered him to exit the house with his hands up…he refused and caused a three hour stand-off because… Read more »

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
4 years ago

Thanks for saying what I was thinking. This article only raises more questions than answers but I am sure that the Sheriff is only giving out what it wants the public to know.

Paulo Murillo
4 years ago

I’m sorry, but this story does not make ANY kind of sense. The husband returns with Sheriff deputies to get his belongings, Mitch refuses to open the door, and for that they build street barricades and call in a crisis negotiating team? Did LAPD have a warrant? Did he have a bomb? Was he threatening to shoot people? Or were the LAPD acting on what the battered husband told them? Anyone who knows Mitch knows that he has enemies at the LAPD. Do your homework people. Yeah he fought against discrimination against gays in the department, but he also exposed… Read more »

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
4 years ago

He should pay the response cost and ordered to get counseling and go back to court in the future for a judge to review.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
4 years ago

I know Mitch and his husband as friends and neighbors so this is all very sad. Mitch was a courageous figure in standing up homophobia in the LAPD in the 1990s and this unfortunate incident should not make us less appreciative of his efforts and sacrifices.

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