Van Nuys Man Gets 3 Years for Assault on Off-Duty Officer

A 25-year-old Van Nuys man was sentenced Friday to three years in state prison for assaulting and permanently disabling an off-duty Los Angeles police officer who attempted to break up a fight.

Setrak Kirakosian was convicted in March by Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Alan B. Haber of felony battery causing serious bodily injury. Kirakosian, an auto mechanic who emigrated from Soviet Armenia in 1975, faced a maximum of four years in prison.

Scott Aldrich, the off-duty officer, was driving past Victory and Sepulveda boulevards in Van Nuys in January, 1986, when he spotted Kirakosian and another man shouting at each other and blocking traffic, court records show. Witnesses testified that the argument stemmed from a tailgating incident.

When Aldrich grabbed Kirakosian and attempted to pull him away, a shoving match ensued, Deputy Dist. Atty. Reva G. Goetz said. The officer fell to the ground and his head struck the pavement, knocking him unconscious, Goetz said.

Aldrich, 34, of Sepulveda suffered head injuries that have permanently damaged his memory, hearing, vision, emotions and sense of balance, Goetz said.

He joined the police force in December, 1980, and was placed on disability as a result of his injuries, a department spokesman said.

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