San Jose Police Officer Robert White Lost His Life 35 Years Ago Today
On January 27, 1985, Officer White was working the Midnight Shift. At 0200 hours, a vehicle accident occurred on Tumble Way at Old Piedmont Road. A vehicle drove into the side yard of 3694 Tumble Way and struck a large metal box knocking it off its concrete base. In that instant, the lights on Tumble Way went dark.
At 0226 hours, Communications broadcast the accident. Officer White answered the call even though it was not his district. He was the first to arrive and began investigating the accident. Shortly after arriving, Officer White updated dispatch that it was a minor non-injury accident and he was “Code 4”. That would be his final transmission.
The large metal box that had been struck by the vehicle was a 12,000-volt PG&E transferring station used as backup power for the entire neighborhood. The equipment had been designed to shut down in the event of any damage. It malfunctioned and remained “hot” electrifying the pickup.
As Officer White touched the front bumper of the vehicle, he became a grounding point for thousands of volts and he was electrocuted. Two nearby citizens ran to the patrol car and got on the radio to call for help. They then got the wood baton and a stick and pulled Officer White’s body away from the vehicle and started CPR.
In spite of the efforts of citizens, fellow beat officers, paramedics and doctors, Officer White was pronounced dead at 0359 hours. Officer White was the fifth San Jose Police Officer killed in the line of duty.
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Fugitive Watch was founded in 1992 by two San Jose police officers, Steve Ferdin and Scott Castruita. Fugitive Watch is a reality-based television show, newspaper and website, fugitive.com. We can also be found on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The mission of Fugitive Watch is to make Your community safer by helping law enforcement fight crime. Fugitive Watch brings the community, local business, and law enforcement together to solve crimes, apprehend wanted fugitives and provide education and crime prevention information to the community.
Business and private sponsorship help Fugitive Watch empower the community to strike back at crime from the safety of their living rooms. Fugitive Watch has been credited by law enforcement with over several 1000 crimes solved or fugitives apprehended. Fugitive Watch also helps improve the safety of police officers by locating fugitives for law enforcement so they can more safely arrest them rather than unexpectedly running across them through extremely dangerous routine “chance encounters”. As law enforcement officers know all too well, These “chance encounters” have resulted in countless officer injuries and deaths.