[Ppnews] 43 years later, a guilty plea to shooting at South City police

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Nov 22 16:15:19 EST 2011

43 years later, a guilty plea to shooting at South City police

By: <http://www.sfexaminer.com/people/ari-burack>Ari Burack | 11/22/11 12:18 PM
Examiner Staff Writer

A 67-year-old man who fled before he could be sentenced more than 
four decades ago for 
at South San Francisco police finally admitted to the crime in court 
Tuesday morning.

Ronald Stanley Bridgeforth re-entered a guilty plea in San Mateo 
County Superior Court to one count of assault with a firearm on a 
police officer, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Under 1969 sentencing guidelines, Bridgeforth could face between one 
and 15 years in prison, according to Wagstaffe. Prosecutors have not 
yet decided what penalty they will seek.

"In our book there is a presumption that prison is where that person 
belongs, but we'll keep an open mind until we see the pre-sentence 
report," Wagstaffe said.

Bridgeforth, who turned himself in two weeks ago, admitted to firing 
at officers outside a South San Francisco department store. He and 
two other men had tried to use false credit cards to buy toys and 
clothes for youth the group had been organizing in San Francisco's 
Fillmore district during the civil rights movement, according to his 
attorney Paul Harris.

Harris has said his client wanted to correct a one-time "aberration" 
in his life and be a positive example for his sons.

No officers were hit, and Bridgeforth was arrested trying to escape. 
But before Bridgeforth could be sentenced in 1969, he disappeared.

According to Harris, Bridgeforth had recently been teaching at a 
community college in Michigan under an assumed name.

A separate charge against Bridgeforth, for his alleged involvement in 
the 1971 fatal shooting of a San Francisco police sergeant, was 
dismissed after Bridgeforth turned himself in on the South San Francisco case.

Bridgeforth is out of custody after posting $25,000 bail. Sentencing 
is scheduled for Feb. 3.

<mailto:aburack at sfexaminer.com>aburack at sfexaminer.com

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: 

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