San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy dies after off-duty assault

A 36-year veteran of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department died Tuesday evening after a violent attack following a minor off-duty crash on New Year’s Eve, authorities said.

Lawrence “Larry” Falce, 70, was hospitalized after he was attacked following a traffic accident about 11 a.m. Sunday near the intersection of Kendall Drive and University Parkway, according to a statement released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefit Assn., of which Falce was a member.

According to the association, Falce “contacted the party in the other car and was brutally attacked.”

Officials have declined to identify the suspect, pending further investigation.

Falce, an Army veteran, worked patrol at the department’s Central Station for 32 years, according to the sheriff’s department. Falce also worked corrections at the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center and the Central Detention Center, both in San Bernardino.

“I think that in itself describes his commitment to the department and to the community,” Cindy Bachman, a public information officer for the department, said Tuesday night.

The department described Falce as a man who was “loved by his peers and the community members he served.” Falce is survived by his sister, Marjorie, and his longtime companion, Deborah.

The sheriff’s employees’ association said Falce was the oldest sworn member of the department.

“Larry was a hard-working, dedicated professional, who loved his job as a deputy sheriff,” Sgt. Grant Ward, president of the association, said in a statement. “I worked with him, and I can tell you his commitment to this profession was second to none. He was generous to all those he cared about and gave willingly from the bottom of his heart.”

Officials said there would be a procession beginning at 10 p.m. Tuesday from the Loma Linda University Medical Center to the San Bernardino coroner’s office.

nicole.santacruz@latimes.com

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