Santa Monica police officers arrested an off-duty paramedic captain at the Santa Monica Pier. According to a press release, the suspect was not in uniform at the time of the incident.
A 19-year veteran of the Santa Monica Fire Department, Fernando Padilla was arrested on July 30 for misdemeanor indecent exposure and lewd conduct.
Officers responded to a call at about 5:15 p.m. regarding a suspect being detained by Pacific Park security guards for indecent exposure. When Santa Monica Police arrived on scene, they immediately identified the suspect as Padilla.
“Witnesses told officers they observed Padilla expose and manipulate his genitalia, while seated on a bench inside the amusement park. Witnesses placed Padilla under citizen’s arrest and officers transported him to the Santa Monica Jail where he was booked for indecent exposure and lewd conduct,” said Santa Monica Police sergeant Renaldi Thruston.
Thruston said that he had no indication that alcohol was a factor.
Police said that Padilla worked at Fire Station #5, located at 2450 Ashland, where he served as a paramedic captain.
If convicted of both crimes, Padilla faces up to six months in jail, and a fine of up to $1,000, according to Thruston.
Jeff Klocke, director of marketing at the Santa Monica Pier, said that this incident isn’t the most bizarre thing he’s seen at the Pier.
“The Santa Monica Pier is a very unique place,” Klocke said. He said that the pier and amusement park attract millions of visitors each year, and that the incident, although unfortunate, is not unheard of.
According to the press release, Padilla has been placed under paid administrative leave by the Santa Monica Fire Department pending further investigation of the incident.
The Santa Monica Fire Department was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
Police said that anyone with additional information is encouraged to call the Santa Monica Police Department Detectives at 310.458.8451. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous is encouraged to call the WeTip hotline at 800.78-crime (27463).