The 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.
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