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Foley vs. Mansker
Posted by: Dale Franks on Monday, June 16, 2008

Several months ago, I wrote about the shooting of San Diego Chargers player Steve Foley by off-duty Coronado patrolman Aaron Mansker. To briefly recap:
[O]ff-duty Coronado police officer Aaron Mansker (a 23 year-old officer who started with Coronado PD in August of 2005), was driving in San Diego on State Route 163, in his privately-owned vehicle, wearing civilian clothes. He claims to have spotted a car, which turned out to be Mr. Foley's, driving erratically. Officer Mansker, apparently overcome by his keen devotion to duty, then attempted to pull over Mr. Foley's car. Indeed, he followed Mr. Foley all the way to Mr. Foley's house in Poway. Along the way, Messrs. Mansker and Foley apparently had words at traffic lights, but Mr. Foley did not comply with Officer Mansker's instructions. When they arrived at Mr. Foley's house, Mr. Foley exited his car, and a confrontation ensued.

When the confrontation began, Ms. Gaut apparently took the wheel of Mr. Foley's car, and tried to run Off. Mansker down, at which point Off. Mansker fired two shots at the vehicle.

Off. Mansker reports that Mr. Foley then began to move toward Off. Mansker in a threatening manner, at which point Off. Mansker shot him once. Mr. Foley verbally acknowledged being shot, then began, once again, to move towards Off. Mansker. Off. Mansker then shot Mr. Foley two more times.
During that confrontation, Steve Foley was shot. (He later pled guilty to a misdemeanot DWI charge). The injuries sustained by Mr. Foley ended his football career. Mr. Mansker was cleared of any charges related to the shooting.

Today, however, jury selection began for the excessive force civil suit bought by Mr. Foley against Mr. Mansker and the city of Coronado. The trial is expected to last for about a month.

The jury will be able to learn that the Coronado PD's policy—and state law—prohibits off-duty officers in civilian clothes from making traffic stops. But the judge has ruled that, during the trial, the jury will not hear that Mansker has, on two other occasions, made off-duty traffic stops for DWIs, as well. The jury will also hear that, at no time, did Mr. Mansker produce a badge or any other form of identification, other than to verbally claim to be a police officer.

I said at the time that Mr. Mansker's actions reeked of cowboy-ism, and the more we know about Mr. Mansker, the more that seems true.

California state law, by the way, specifically requires that drivers only stop for a marked police vehicle with lights and siren. For this reason, police in California are generally prohibited from making traffic stops except when in a marked police vehicle.

I can only presume that the reason Mr. Mansker still wears a badge is that firing him would be sen by a jury as tantamount to an admission of guilt in this case.

After three off-duty stops of motorists, I can honestly think of no other logical reason why he is still a peace officer in the state of California.

I hope the jury soaks both the city, and Mr. Mansker, for a tidy bundle.

But Mr. Mansker will still have his job, apparently, wearing a badge and gun, and Mr. Foley's career is over.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I can only presume that the reason Mr. Mansker still wears a badge is that firing him would be sen by a jury as tantamount to an admission of guilt in this case.

After three off-duty stops of motorists, I can honestly think of no other logical reason why he is still a peace officer in the state of California.
The fact of his firing would not be admitted, even if he were fired. It would be ruled irrelevant. Moreover, even if relevant, it would be deemed a "subsequent remedial measure," and most likely excluded on that basis.

Bottom line? Cops protect their own. Always have, always will.

Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
On the other hand, he must have been some kinda drunk to keep advancing on a man with a gun who had already shot him once. Drunk or stupid. I would have laid down on the sidewalk screaming.
Written By: kyleN
I mostly agree with kyle, though I can think of a few instances where I would keep advancing till I was long dead...

However, it doesn’t sound like this "cop" had the guy’s wife/kid captive, so those are pretty much out...

I’d have at least stopped advancing...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Bottom line? Cops protect their own. Always have, always will.
I have worked in law enforcement and corrections. It’s been my experience that personnel in those fields gladly welcome the the expulsion of wrongdoers that place a black mark upon the institution. It’s my experience that more likely bad cops are protected by unions than their fellow cops.
Kyle, Scott-the cop broke the rules and discipline is required.
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
Not only should that moron be fired, he should be committed to a mental institution because he is certifiably a danger to himself and others.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
the cop broke the rules and discipline is required.
Any ideas as to what sort of discipline Mansker may have (and/or should have) received after each of his first two off-duty chases? (And I note, with my emphasis, that this article says that prior to shooting Foley, Mansker had "violated state law and department policy at least twice by pursuing suspected drunken drivers while off duty.")

Hindsight’s 20-20 and all, but it seems in retrospect that his wrist should have been slapped a little harder, particularly after the second and any subsequent offenses. He was only 23 when he shot Foley to cap off his (at least) third off-duty chase. I don’t know how old he was when he became a cop, but he certainly didn’t have anything like decades of otherwise faithful service to offset his penchant for violating "department policy and state law." If I’d been his supervisor I’d have been livid — furious — after the second chase. It’s hard to imagine that his real supervisor(s) didn’t feel the same way and didn’t see big trouble coming.

If Mansker’s union is the thing that kept him on the force and made him so cocky, the city of Coronado should consider suing that union for the damages they’ll likely have to pay Foley.
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://

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