†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††HARBOR GENEROUS?

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††By Ron Sipes


In the late 60's the only real County trauma center was Harbor General Hospital. AKA; "Harbor Generous". It has and will always be a UCLA affiliated teaching hospital.


In the late summer of 1969 we were working 17 PMís in the unincorporated area known then as Keystone. We got a shots fired, ambulance dispatched call about two blocks from the hospital. When we arrived we found a victim with a shotgun wound to the chest. Blood was shooting up from the wound and we found that a major artery had been punctured. I placed my hand in the victimís chest, and we lifted the victim into the radio car. We knew he couldn't wait for an ambulance, and we were very close to the hospital.


We arrived at the hospital, got a gurney, got him onto it with my hand still embedded in his chest applying pressure on the wound. Inside the emergency room area was a long hallway with a wall on the left side and curtained booths running along the right side. The booths were where the doctors treated the ER patients.


When we entered we yelled that we had a critical gunshot victim. We actually ran with the gurney into the hallway. No one came. One doctor peeked out of the curtained area and with bloody hands shrugged and mouthed, sorry. Shortly after that we saw a doctor, at least he looked like one, he had a white coat that said doctor on it, and a stethoscope around his neck. I asked him to please help our victim, and he just stared through me as if I wasn't there. I yelled at him that the victim was going to die if he didn't get help. The doctor kept walking. Several other doctors passed us and they were obviously busy with their own life or death cases. After about ten minutes with my hand in this guys chest, and his color dropping from pink to a chalky white, I started to scream for some one to come and help with our victim.


It was about this time I observed the doctor who ignored me previously, round the corner and enter the hallway. He had a munchy in one hand and a coke in the other. As he approached me I yelled at him to help. With a wiseass look he said; "I'm on break". The frustration of having a guy dying with my hand in his chest, the lack of help, the obvious, "I don't give a damn" attitude of this doctor really pissed me off.


I told the doctor that I was ordering him to treat this patient. He just smirked at me. I told him that as a peace officer in an emergency I was giving him a lawful order to treat the patient. He just smirked at me. I told my partner to hook him up. He did, and I just smirked at him.


As soon as the clear, cold sound of the handcuffs going on the doctor became audible we had people in white coats kicking each other out of the way to treat our victim.


The doctor was transported, booked, tried and convicted in the Compton Court House. When he cracked smart in front of Judge Ross (ex LAPD) he was sentenced to six months in the LA County Jail. I heard he served almost the entire time.