"When I arrived at the hospital to see him, I honestly thought that gang bangers had got a hold of him
like the cowards sometimes do and just beat him with a baseball bat in the face," he said. "Immediately
my thoughts were to get with Fullerton police ... and I didn't learn until a certain amount of hours later
the truth. That put me in absolute shock."
A police spokesman, Sgt. Andrew Goodrich, said the case was an isolated incident. "We have a good
department full of good individuals," he said. "We've made more than half-a-million law enforcement
contacts over the past 4.5 years ... This is the only instance of this kind that's happened."
Goodrich said officers receive training on how to deal with the mentally ill and the homeless. But an
attorney representing the department, Michael D. Schwartz, said that "public perception of officers'
trying to control a combative, resistive suspect rarely conform to those officers' training, experiences,
and what those officers were experiencing at the time or reality."
[ Mr. Schwartz - it was SIX against ONE]
The revelations have caused growing outrage in this quiet college town. More than 70 people spoke at
the City Council meeting Wednesday, and a city councilwoman called for the resignation of the police
chief. Thomas' father and others were planning a protest outside the police station this weekend, the
second in as many weeks.
"My son needs a voice," he said. "Now, the people have become Kelly's voice and, yeah, I'm leading the
Kelly Thomas was an outgoing child who loved to play the guitar, participated in Boy Scouts and Cub
Scouts and aspired to be a wildland firefighter, said his father, who raised him alone after he and
Thomas' mother divorced.
After his diagnosis, he went to a live-in facility that provided meals and monitored his medication, his
father said. Thomas was able to hold down a job at a gas station and then a printing facility and even
started to train with the California Department of Forestry and Protection.