Jan. 1, 1958
Officers Ed Neville and R.O. Potter of the Wilshire Division began the year on a thankful note: They were alive.
As final hours of 1957 ticked away, the officers were called to an apartment at 443 S. Alexandria Ave., where 21-year-old Carol Stoos had slashed her wrists. Stoos was taken to the Central Receiving Station and treated.
With the incident closed, Neville and Potter were returning to the
Wilshire Division station when they saw a car carrying two men and two
women speeding on Wilshire near Serrano Avenue. They stopped the driver, Marine Cpl. John Serino, 19, at 6th Street and Manhattan Place and in checking the license plates, found that he was driving a stolen car.
Neville tried to put his handcuffs on Serino, but the El Toro Marine
drew a revolver from a shoulder holster and fired five times at Neville
and once at his partner, missing all six times.
The two officers killed Serino, firing 15 shots, The Times said. Serino
was hit four times, leaving us to wonder what became of the other 11
bullets. Fortunately, although a total of 21 shots were fired, neither
of the officers, nor Serino hit the other three people in the car:
Marine Pfc. Noel Land, 18; Theresa Richaurd, 20; or Irene Marsalek, 29,
who happened to be Stoos’ roommate.*
Serino’s three companions were arrested on charges of murder (this may
not make sense at first, but yes, it is a point of law). Richaurd told
police that Serino had forced her to take the .38-caliber revolver they
found in her purse.
The Times never followed up on this story, so we don’t know what became
of any of these people. But we do know that they all began the new year
with a second chance.