Roger Gitlin | David W. March, EOW April 29, 2002

Deputy David March.

It seems like just a few weeks ago but 20 years have passed since Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff David March was murdered in Irwindale April 29, 2002. 

The Saugus native and Canyon High graduate was on routine LASD patrol out of Temple Station when he pulled over the suspect vehicle for an unknown violation, and the, “worst of the worst“ suspect who vowed his intent that fateful morning was “to kill a cop.” 

The three-times deported and twice-convicted illegal alien drug dealer was the face and embodiment of pure evil. 

Deputy March pulled over the vehicle on Live Oak Road, 300 yards east of Myrtle Avenue. Dave lost his life when the felon opened fire on Deputy March and a single bullet struck just off Deputy March’s chest protector, knocking him to the pavement. With depraved indifference, the seven-year veteran deputy was coldly assassinated. 

After committing the murder, the killer fled to Mexico for four and a half years, hid out in the open while the L.A. County District Attorney and Mexican authorities squabbled over the death penalty. 

Decades later, this murderer languishes in a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facility on a life without parole sentence.  

I vowed never to utter his name and I won’t now. 

May he never see, smell, taste or experience the fresh air of freedom for the rest of his natural life. 

Dave was an extraordinary young man who I met while he was in the academy in 1995. His life was cut down at 33, just days before he was to be transferred to Santa Clarita Station. Dave is survived by his wife Teri and daughter, parents John and Barbara March and sister Erin. Good friend, retired Santa Clarita councilman and retired L.A. police officer Bob Kellar helped Deputy March negotiate the screening process for LASD hire. 

Words fall short in describing Dave’s character: Stellar would be a modest understatement. Dave’s motto, which ultimately became the LASD Creed says it all: 

“I will always be painfully honest and work as hard as I can and hopefully make a difference in peoples’ lives.” 

Dave March made a difference in many he came in contact with, including me. After Dave’s murder, I formed a local Minuteman chapter, not to carry a gun but to persuade the moribund Santa Clarita City Council to engage rampant illegal immigration with no benefit to Santa Clarita. 

Except for Kellar, the rest of the council was useless. I remember Councilwoman Marsha McLean criss-crossing her arms telling me there was nothing the council could do and suggested I contact Rep. Buck McKeon for assistance. Outrageous! 

Electeds like the councilwoman bring shame and disrepute to the rule of law. 

Decades later, our southern border remains pathetically porous, allowing countless thousands of unvetted illegal aliens to enter the United States. 

The 24-hour, two-deputy sentry begins paying homage to Deputy March at 12:01 a.m. April 29 on Live Oak Boulevard, east of Myrtle Avenue in Irwindale. 

David William March, EOW 4/29/2002. 

Roger Gitlin, of Crescent City, was a long-time Santa Clarita resident and retired certificated educator. He is a two-term retired Del Norte County Supervisor. 

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