Last spring Dean Francis Gochenour, 52, was arrested in Fullerton for suspicion of drunk driving and was taken to the Fullerton jail. He never left. Not alive, anyway.
In the early morning hours of April 15, 2011 Gochenour was discovered in a holding cell, dead. Death by apparent “hanging” was passed out by the cops to the media, although what he was hanging from and by what means wasn’t elaborated. Here’s the brief news clip.
Almost immediately, however, stories began to emanate from the basement of the police HQ to the effect that Gochenour had been demeaned and taunted by the arresting officer; that he had been admonished by the cop to kill himself; that the cop’s behavior had been witnessed and or overheard by a jail employee and reported to his bosses; that a superior had confronted the officer in question, whereupon the latter tried to smash his DAR to destroy evidence; but that said evidence was retrieved.
It would not be entirely out of character for a Fullerton cop to urge an arrestee to commit suicide, given what we’ve seen of the thuggish behavior of our police lately. Is that what happened? Exactly how Gochenour died is not clear. In April it seemed a lot less suspicious than it does now, especially since FPD spokesmen have been shown to play fast and loose with the truth.
All of which begs the questions: who was the cop involved and what is his current employment status? In Fullerton, such things are shrouded behind a nearly impenetrable curtain.
We will try to pull it back and find out.