SAN DIEGO COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMORIAL FOUNDATION

In the Line of Duty




Oceanside Police Department

City Marshal Charles C. Wilson
End of Watch: July 4, 1889
Oceanside Police Department

Marshal Wilson was shot and killed patrolling the downtown area. Marshal Wilson and his brother, the deputy marshal, heard gun shots near a hotel and went to investigate. When the arrived at the scene they observed a man holding a kerosene lamp taken from a street light. Marshal Wilson grabbed the man’s horse by the bridal. The suspect immediately shot Marshal Wilson in the head, killing him instantly.  The suspect fled but was later apprehended by a group of citizens. The suspect was sentenced to death after two trials but died in prison only a few weeks before he was to be hanged.  Marshal Wilson had been with the agency for over ten years and was survived by his wife and brother.

 

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City Marshal John E. Mugan
End of Watch: September 24, 1916
Oceanside Police Department

Marshal Mugan was shot and killed by the city’s night watchman during a dispute over the respective duties and authority of the two officers. The night watchman, who was drunk at the time, saw Marshal Mugan standing on Main Street talking with another man. The suspect came out of the saloon and shot Marshal Mugan in the neck after swearing at him. The night watchman was arrested a short time later and charged with Marshal Mugan’s murder.

Marshal Mugan had been with the agency for over 10 years and had previously served with the San Diego Police Department.

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Officer Tony Zeppetella
End of Watch: June 13, 2003
Oceanside Police Department

Officer Tony Zeppetella was shot and killed after he stopped a vehicle belonging to a known 28-year-old gang member

He had stopped the suspicious vehicle in the branch parking lot of the Navy Federal Credit Union. After an exchange of gunfire, the suspect shot and killed Officer Zeppella.

Officer Zeppetella had served with the Oceanside Police Department for 13 months. He is survived by his wife, six-month-old son, parents, brother, and sister.

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Officer Dan Bessant
End of Watch: December 20, 2006
Oceanside Police Department

Born and raised in Oceanside, Officer Dan Bessant loved his city enough to serve his community.The 25-year-old officer who left behind a wife and 2-month-old son was gunned down Dec. 20 while assisting another officer in a traffic stop in northeast Oceanside near the back gate to Camp Pendleton. Officer Bessant served on the Oceanside Police Department for three years.

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