Julian Becerra has been with the Fountain Police Department for 4 1/2 years.
FOUNTAIN, Colo. — A Fontana police officer has died nine days after falling 40 feet from a bridge while pursuing a carjacking suspect.
Julian Besser is survived by his wife, Kathy, and a young daughter. For four and a half years, he worked at the Fontana Police Department.
Becerra had been in critical condition since falling on February 2. Fontana police said in a release Friday morning that he is on life support and surrounded by his family and friends. On Saturday night, the police department said he died of his injuries.
Two days after Becerra’s fall, his brother-in-law David Alderman described him as a wonderful father.
“I have two daughters of my own, and I learned a lot from him about being a father,” Alderman said.
Police said Becerra was critically injured while assisting the parole unit of the Colorado Department of Corrections. The parole department was looking for a carjacking suspect from the Puebla area who had warrants. The suspect was believed to be in a stolen vehicle, police said.
Police spotted the vehicle near the Citadel Mall in Colorado Springs. After an intermittent chase, three suspects in a vehicle attempted to carjack someone at Love’s Travel Plaza in Fontana.
Police pursued the suspects north on Interstate 25. The suspect vehicle left the interstate at South Academy Boulevard and police used stop sticks to partially disable it, police said.
Fountain officers then used tactical maneuvers to finally stop the vehicle. The driver jumped out and fled, police said. While officers were trying to take the suspect into custody, Becerra fell from the bridge, police said. Becerra was then airlifted to the hospital.
As a result, law enforcement officers took three suspects into custody. Charges are pending in connection with the chase incident, police said.
“This is a difficult time for our city, and I want all of our police officers and first responders to know that we stand by them,” Fontana Mayor Sharon Thompson said Sunday.
Thompson said the people who led police on the stolen car chase that ultimately killed Becerra should already be in jail.
“The suspects that Officer Becerra was pursuing the night he was critically injured were felons with multiple active warrants for their arrest. They shouldn’t have been out in the first place,” Thompson said.
Outside the Fontana Police Department, Becerra’s patrol car is now a memorial. Dozens of bouquets of flowers, notes and signs are hanging on the car.
“It breaks my heart because I know he’s a young guy and he’s got a young family. He’s left a community behind,” said Shelly Rapoza, who stopped to place flowers on a car. “I grew up in Fontana and I just felt the need. I just wanted to give credit. It doesn’t happen often in Fontana.”
We still do not know the details of what happened before Becerra fell from the bridge. Fountain police said they are focused on grieving right now and are not answering questions about what happened the night of the chase.
Donations to Here you can create a Becerra family. Those who wish to donate should check the Designated box and enter Julian Becerra in the Designated Employee Name box.
Becerri’s brother-in-law founded his own GoFundMe campaign for his sister and her family.
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