Friends and Fans Offer Support to WeHo Sheriff’s Deputy Who Just Won’t Quit

Garrett Rifkin (Facebook)

Friends of West Hollywood Sheriff’s Deputy Garrett Rifkin have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover medical expenses associated with a hit-and-run accident that resulted in the amputation of his leg.

On Aug. 3, Rifkin, 25, was on a motorcycle headed to work in West Hollywood from his home in Santa Clarita when he was hit by a car near the intersection of Fountain and Formosa avenues.

The driver fled the scene and was arrested that night.

Los Angeles Police Department and Fire Department workers arrived at the scene and sent Rifkin to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where a decision was made to operate on his foot. To date, Rifkin has had six foot surgeries and finally agreed to have his left leg amputated below his knee.

In an interview with the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Rifkin said he agreed to the amputation because otherwise he would have to undergo muscle and skin grafts that would make it impossible to run and would mean he walked with a limp. After the amputation and rehabilitation he would be able to run, and to continue his work as a deputy.

“If I can’t run, I can’t be a deputy, or run with my future kids,” said Garrett, whose father Bob Rifkin, is a retired LA Sheriff’s Department captain.

His leg was amputated on Aug. 22. Rifkin currently is at the California Rehabilitation Institute in Century City.

Because Rifkin was on his way to work and not actually on the job when the accident occurred, there are limits on what workers compensation can cover. Friends launched the GoFundMe page on Aug. 4, which to date has raised $19,152 of its $50,000 goal. On Aug. 25, over 250 bikers gathered in Marina Del Rey to raise money to support the recovery of Rifkin, an avid biker.

Rifkin also has received valuable emotional support from his family, his girlfriend Michelle Furnari, and his fellow deputies at the West Hollywood Station, who have visited him frequently at the hospital.

“I miss everything so my goal is to go back to work full duty,” Rifkin told the Signal.


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Todd Bianco
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Todd Bianco

Horrible for this to happen. I hope the deputy recovers and finds a way to go on with his life, even if it may not be in the same job he had before. But I see these GoFundMe pages all the time to help pay for medical expenses. What an indictment of our medical system and the way it puts people into dire financial straits. If this had happened in another first world country, he would have had more support from the state-run, single-payer healthcare system. Nothing is perfect, but ours is terrible.

Eric Jon Schmidt
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Eric Jon Schmidt

It’s a sad situation, but I need to know more. Was the driver UTI of anything? This should never happen to anyone, but are there changes the city can make so it doesn’t happen again? I hope for him a speedy recovery and being back in the job soon.

Alison
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Alison

No you don’t need to know more.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Your always want to blame the city! What changes can the city make for an individual’s bad behavior? Please elaborate.

WeHoMikey
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WeHoMikey

In fact, there ARE changes cities can make. “Individuals behaving badly” is another descriptor of “criminal behavior”. Arrest, prosecution, jail time are all on that list. Residents of that immediate area have complained vociferously about speeding and reckless drivers, failure to stop for pedestrians, etc. there have been deaths on that stretch of roadway. Yet City Councilmembers tell the residents, “wellllll…you know…the solution *might* include a ROAD DIET…” – and residents back down. Update the roadways with the newest safety technology and back it up with enforcement dollars – and make sure felony hit-and-run is a sure ticket to state… Read more »

Jeff
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Jeff

The city is working on that stretch of Fountain, having a cop sit there is not going to stop a person UTI from speeding and I’m sure the idiot who hit the deputy is going to jail. You can’t have police everywhere all the time. If there were, you’d be the first person to complain about the high taxes to pay for them.