Just Another Vilan? No Charges Against Officer Who Killed Man After Grabbing His Girlfriend

thumb_policeman_cartoonThe Riverside District Attorney’s Office has announced that it will not criminally charge Costa Mesa Police Department officer Scott Dibble after the officer shot and killed Shaun Vilan upset with his grabbing his friend.

The incident was triggered after Dibble grabbed woman in the group with 30-year-old Shaun Vilan. Dibble reportedly apologized that he thought it was someone else when confronted by the group. An argument ensued and Dibble went outside and sat down. According to the report, Dibble was struck by a metal chair. He then pulled his gun and identified himself as an officer. It gets murky but Dibble then shot Vilan five times.

Temecula police Lt. John Schultz insisted that the fight was much ado about nothing: “It was just a pat on the butt. Our victim (Dibble) actually apologized profusely for his indiscretion.”

Schultz explained why Vilan was shot because “Shaun (Vilan) was the one that came from the front. He was the leader.” Dibble shot both Vilan and Taylor Willis.

I am willing to accept that the goose was a mistake. However, there is the problem that these men were unarmed. It is unclear why an officer needs to shoot two men and fire five times in such a circumstance.

Shaun Vilan was no angel and his record supports aspects of Dibble’s account. He spent six years in prison after smashing bottle in the face of victims. [By the way, why does this guy get a well-earned six years for smashing a bottle in someone’s face, but the attacker of model Liskula Cohen gets 30 days in New York?].

There is no question that the attack warranted an arrest and even the drawing of the weapon. The question is the need to use lethal force as opposed to a warning or even a warning shot. This is particularly problematic in a crowded area. At a minimum, more information from the investigation should be shared to justify this use of force.

For the full story, click here.

10 thoughts on “Just Another Vilan? No Charges Against Officer Who Killed Man After Grabbing His Girlfriend”

  1. Stumbled across this site by accident while researching Sean’s first name since I could only remember his last. It has been a few years since 3/08/08 but I covered the story for TemeculaCalendar.com. Interviewing the family and friends of Sean’s who were there, only mespo727272, getplaning, Joe, and Domino seem to get what happened and why it should matter.

    What didn’t come out was that like the armored LA bank robbers a few years ago, Sean was allowed to bleed out as police prevented any EMTs to treat Sean at the scene for an hour; later at the hospital as the large clan gathered and prayed for Sean for over four hours, a detective came out and said, “What are you doing here? (Sean) Vilan died four hours ago.” Also a large police contingent was present at the hospital during this time.

    Dibble who had been on a wine tour the whole day was with friends (two) when the fight started so it was three against three and Dibble was getting his butt kicked. It was only after he got cold-cocked (and not by Sean) and got back to his feet that he pulled out his piece and emptied it. Never did he identify himself as a cop. As for the woman whose ass he palmed claiming he thought it was his sister, she is so unique with red hair and huge rose tat fully displayed by her dress’ plunging back piece design, there was no way to confuse her with any one else, even drunk.

    As with autism and today’s vaccination schedule, you can drink the kool-aid from the experts or interview an actual mother for the truth.

  2. Domino. This officer was investigated and found to be innocent. It was told to investigators that this WAS self defense due to the fact he was hit from behind with a metal chair. He was being jumped by multiple people. It is unfortunate that his 7 year son witnessed this, but it is also unfortunate that he had to watch his father fighting in the street, and attacking someone with a group of friends and a metal chair. THAT also is an outrage, and a poor excuse for an example.
    As far as the Officer assaulting the girl by slapping the girls butt, Vilan could have called the police and pressed charges. They were welcome to complain and have it handled criminally if it bothered them that much. But instead they chose to wait until almost an hour after the incident and then attack the officer with a group of people. In a different ( better written news article in my opinion ), it was told to the District attorney investigating the incident that Vilan was “just looking for a good scrap” and if would have know they guy was a police officer he would have left him alone. This was told to Olsen, the investigating attorney, by one of the FRIENDS of Vilan.
    I love how people make this out to sound like a conspiracy….like the cops are all sticking together on this and framing poor Vilan while protecting their own. 9 impartial witnesses…..thats 9 people who didn’t know one better than the other……all stated to investigators that Vilan was attacked by a group of people.
    Bottom line, Vilan chose to handle this situation poorly, by bringing a chair and group of friends to a gun fight. If any regular citizen would have been jumped by a group of people and hit with a chair, they would have used a gun if they had one to, and I’m sure the same outcome of self defense would have stood with them also

  3. RIP Shaun. This officer needs to be held accountable for his actions a man died in front of his son and its an outrage!

  4. The off duty police officer was attacked and required seven staples in his head. Shaun Vilan didn’t want to have a normal one on one fist fight. He wanted to injure or maybe even kill a man. I cannot imagine calling all of my buddies to beat a man and to use a chair to do it too! The police officer was right in shooting though he should have fired less. A stray bullet could have hit an innocent.

  5. The officer was in a bar, drinking, with his weapon?

    Nobody picked up on that?

    You can’t go hang out at your fav bar armed.

    It can lead to deadly and regretable situations.
    It happens all the time too.

  6. Michael,
    I don’t disagree with you and I do think that officers should be allowed to carry their firearms off duty. Here’s the problem though. An off duty police officer must also remember that he is just like anybody else when she/he’s off duty. Manny, many incidents, recently, and for years show that they don’t. Part of this is taht if they behave in a criminal fashion they should be subjected to the same punishment any citizen should pay. The reality is that they generally don’t suffer the same penalties, their comrades and superiors protect them and juries give them special consideration. The police have a very hard job, granted, but so do firemen, soldiers, people who work on oil rigs and yes even social workers. It gets tiring to hear the police feel so victimized, when in fact they are in the opposite position. One would think that someone sworn to uphold the law, would be the first to adhere to it in their own behavior.

  7. Re: getplaning and leaving guns at work

    The problem with being an officer is that when officers meet people on their days off, some of them don’t care whether they are at work or not.

    Officers are trained now to not get involved in anything off duty. However, most all of them still carry off duty because, especially in smaller towns, it’s hard to go to Wal-Mart and not see someone you’ve dealt with before. I know a highway patrolman was killed around here sometime recently when he was walking into his house off duty, shot in the back. He was investigating this guy for a hit-and-run and the guy tracked him down.

    They need to be able to carry off duty, just not be stupid about it.

  8. I have seen too many cases where police officers shoot people in altercations when they are off duty. One example that comes to my mind is a road rage incident in Houston where a woman accidentally cut off another vehicle with two off duty policemen in it, who then began harrassing her. They forced her onto the shoulder of US 59 and an exchange of gunfire took place. The woman was killed, of course. I don’t remember if anything happened to the cops.
    I believe that cops should leave their weapons and their police identities at work.

  9. “Temecula police Lt. John Schultz insisted that the fight was much ado about nothing: “It was just a pat on the butt. Our victim (Dibble) actually apologized profusely for his indiscretion.”


    Well Virginia takes a different view about touching a woman’s (or man’s) buttocks without invitation whether you apologize or not. The offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and/or a $2,500.00 fine or both. If it’s aggravated, as in the case of certain minors or those persons under a physical or mental disability, it’s a felony punishable by a term of 1-20 years in the penitentiary and up to a $100,000.00 fine.

    As for the legality of Dibble’s discharge of his weapon, JT and I part company. It seems justified to me given that he was attacked from behind with a metal chair after he prudently left the area. He was then set upon and punched by Vilan and his friends placing him reasonably in fear for his life. The victim’s propensity for violence, though unknown to Dibble at the time, does support the officer’s version of events as JT noted. This is especially the case since the other victim, Willis, confirmed that Vilan was the aggressor throughout.

    We can of course debate the propriety of discharging a weapon 5 times in a crowded area, and the use of other less lethal means to ward off the attack. But on balance, I am on the side of the victimized off-duty cop here and hence support the decision of the Deputy DA. I might feel differently if this wasn’t a mob attack, but apparently it was such.

  10. Professor,
    Our problem is that for too long the public and the police have been influenced by TV News, cop shows and movies that seem make police victims who deserve special consideration. Juries have been influenced by it and generations of police operate with an Us vs. them (the general public, or civilians as they’re euphemistically called)mentality. Another side of the coin is that politicians lavish much praise on the police, but then don’t deliver in the pocketbook where it really counts. This increases the disconnect felt by the officers. Finally, those who rise to power in police departments are generally those who are excellent negotiators of the intricacy of rising in bureaucracy. Coming through the ranks they share the same sentiments and tend to protect their own. This becomes especially true because potential scandal could be dangerous to their own tenure.

    I am actually for the most part sympathetic to police officers because the majority of them have used the job as a means of escaping the depredation of social class and the concomitant lack of upward movement that is the underlying truth of our country. Most start off meaning well and intending to promote justice. Somewhere along the line conformity with their comrades and hours that destroy love and family life, embitter many and give them a sense of entitlement. I can’t blame people who are
    impaired by a hypocritical system when they wind up buying the false premises of that system. However, as a citizen I must demand that the behavior of individual officers must be judged by the same standards as those of their fellow citizens.

    In this instance the excess of force seems suspicious and the account of the circumstances may well be influenced by a self serving system.

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