Ex-cop threatens to ‘put a bullet’ in boy’s head after doorbell prank, prosecutors say

Closeup of Dean Taylor.
A booking photo shows Dean Taylor, a former San Francisco police officer accused of threatening to kill an 11-year-old boy.
(Marin County Sheriff’s Office)

A former police officer has been charged with multiple crimes after authorities say he made death threats against an 11-year-old boy who played a doorbell prank at the man’s San Rafael, Calif., house.

The boy and some friends spent the evening of Feb. 12 ringing doorbells and running away, police said in a news release.

The group rang the bell at the home of Dean Taylor at least four times, the man told San Rafael police. Taylor was trying to sleep after enduring a “painful surgery,” his attorney, Anthony Brass, said.


When the children rang his bell again, Taylor, 63, told police he opened the door and chased them on foot. Though the boys scattered, Taylor got into a dark-colored car and continued his pursuit.

When he came across one of the juveniles, an 11-year-old whom police did not identify, the boy said, Taylor jumped out of the car and began yelling at him before grabbing him by the neck and forcing him to the ground.

The altercation on the tidy, suburban street in Anaheim apparently began with a complaint common in many neighborhoods: a group of teenagers walking through a neighbor’s yard on their way home from school.

Feb. 23, 2017

A neighbor called 911 to report an older man yelling at a boy and “grabbing him aggressively” before they both got into a car.

The boy told police that Taylor said he was going to drive him to his parents’ house and that if he ever pranked him again, he would “put a bullet in his head.”

Taylor, a 33-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department, then dropped the child nearby, and the boy ran home to his parents, who called police.

Another parent called police to say that one of her son’s friends had been chased by a man who lived in the area.


When police arrived at Taylor’s home to question him, he told officers he had chased the children and had told one of the boys he would take him home. He denied grabbing the child around the neck or threatening to kill him, police said.

Taylor was arrested and booked in the Marin County Jail before being released on $100,000 bond the following day.

He has been charged by the Marin County district attorney’s office with making criminal threats, false imprisonment by violence, kidnapping, and unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on a child.

Taylor faces up to 11 years in state prison if convicted as charged, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Leon S. Kousharian.

The encounter was an “aberration” for a man “with a spotless record who was home minding his own business struggling with his painful recovery,” Brass said.

For nearly four years, Taylor coached golf and basketball at San Rafael High School, until his resignation on Feb. 16. While at the San Francisco Police Department, he was an officer and inspector, according to a spokesman with the department.