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Mental Tests Ordered for Transient in Gun Case

Times Staff Writer

A Glendale Municipal Court judge has ordered a psychiatric evaluation of a 46-year-old transient wounded last week after he allegedly brandished a toy gun at a Glendale police officer.

Judge Barbara Lee Burke on Monday postponed an arraignment until next Thursday to permit an evaluation of Gerald Lee Hammons, who has been charged with obstructing a peace officer and brandishing a replica firearm, both misdemeanors.

Hammons suffered a broken left arm from a bullet fired by Sgt. Dwyane Bruce, a 14-year patrolman, police said. The incident occurred Dec. 12 after Hammons allegedly confronted Bruce and another officer, Susan Casaus, in a parking lot outside the Glendale Police Station at 140 N. Isabel St.

Hammons later told police that he had taken the toy gun to two other locations earlier the same day--the Los Angeles Police Department’s Foothill Division station in Pacoima and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Sepulveda--but had failed to command attention, court documents said.

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Police said Hammons was involved in a similar incident in October at Burbank Police Department headquarters but was subdued by officers and taken to Olive View Medical Center in Sylmar for evaluation. No charges were filed.

Court documents include a copy of a neatly printed suicide letter reportedly written by Hammons and found on the seat of his pickup truck after the Dec. 12 shooting. The note said Hammons, who has never married, has been despondent since the death of his father in 1985. The letter said, in part: “My father was the only person in the world who cared about me. . . . I am a completely useless person.”

Court records indicate that Hammons had $1,900 in his pocket, which he reportedly said was all that remained from the 1986 sale of his Tujunga home. Police said Hammons has since been living in various motels, including six months at the Glendale Holiday Inn, and in the back of his truck.

The charge of brandishing a toy gun carries a maximum penalty of six months in county jail. Obstructing an officer is punishable by up to one year in county jail.

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Hammons was transferred this week from the jail ward at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center to Los Angeles County Jail.


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