Man Gets Probation for Shots at Officer

An Inglewood businessman who sat on a city commission and the mayor's anti-crime task force has been sentenced to five years' probation for shooting at an Inglewood policeman last spring.

Francisco Avina, 40, who pleaded guilty last month to assault with a deadly weapon, was sentenced Tuesday by Torrance Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki. The judge suspended a 6-year prison sentence, saying that Avina will be jailed only if he fails to abide by the terms of his probation.

Avina was ordered to enter an alcohol rehabilitation program and abstain from drinking.

Police said the gunshot fired by Avina narrowly missed a patrolman who was one of several police officers who came to Avina's coin laundry on South Prairie Avenue to investigate reports of a disturbance.

Investigators said Avina had drinking and marital problems that may have led to the confrontation with police. At the time, Avina was a member of Inglewood's Parking and Traffic Commission and Mayor Edward Vincent's anti-crime task force.

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