Father and Law

A retired Hollywood cop would do almost anything to help his son — maybe a little too much

As for the dents in Blackmore's door and the broken side mirror, the Hoisingtons say Bryan did it only to keep Blackmore from driving away from the scene.

In the week that followed the incident, Blackmore says she was racked with anxiety: "I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I was having headaches."

She never called Larry Hoisington. Still, Blackmore was determined to fix the dents in her car. Her neighbor, who's also her insurance agent, asked whether she'd gotten the police report from the incident. She had not.

So Blackmore drove to the Hollywood Police headquarters to get the report. The clerk, however, couldn't find anything with Blackmore's name on it. The report didn't exist.

This didn't make sense: A driver chased her through the streets, struck her car, damaged it, and — according to her version — threatened to kill her, and the police came, but nobody wrote a police report? And it just so happened that the driver was the son of a Hollywood cop?

To Blackmore, it looked suspiciously like a cover-up.

The case was assigned to the Hollywood Police Department's Internal Affairs unit.

Blackmore was entitled to a report, and Lt. Richard Nardello, who at the time headed the department's traffic division, wrote one that described Blackmore's allegations. But it was far from an authoritative document — written 11 days after the incident by an officer who had not been at the scene. Blackmore says she never even met Nardello and wonders who told him about her case.

It is not clear why Bassas, the officer who responded to the 911 call, did not write a report. After all, he could have rendered a firsthand account. Bassas refused to comment for this article, but he told an Internal Affairs investigator in 2005 that he thought the two parties had agreed to settle the matter between themselves.

The Hoisingtons are also angry a report wasn't made that day, they say, if only because the outdated, secondhand report by Nardello didn't include Bryan Hoisington's side of the story.

For this reason, Larry Hoisington says he contacted the Hollywood Police detective bureau in 2005 and asked for an investigation. The bureau assigned Detective William Ferguson. Larry says he also asked the traffic division to conduct a full investigation. Officer Jeff Courtney took the assignment, though he couldn't begin the investigation until Internal Affairs finished its probe.

In addition, Larry says he consulted two state attorneys about charging Blackmore with a misdemeanor: filing a false police report. Neither state attorney took the case.

"The only thing [the state attorney] said was that you should have let the other cop at the scene take care of everything — and that's right," Larry says. "With my son being involved... I'm sorry. I made a mistake. I should have let [the responding officer] handle this incident. That's the only mistake I made — that and not arresting [Blackmore] that day."

But if he had arrested Blackmore, wouldn't that have constituted involvement?

"Yes," Hoisington admits. "But once I did become involved, I should have arrested her."

In January 2005, Blackmore went to the state attorney's office to find out whether her case against Bryan Hoisington was moving forward. The clerk could find no such case.

When Blackmore pulled into her Fort Lauderdale home that same day, she was approached by two more Hoisingtons, she says — Bryan's mother and his sister, who were parked in a car waiting for Blackmore to come home.

"They were saying what a nice kid he was and how he never got into trouble before," Blackmore says. She says she sympathized with Bryan's family, but it didn't change her mind about his deserving punishment. And she wondered how they got her home address.

Two days later, Blackmore got a call from Ferguson, an investigator of her case. Blackmore says she was eager to help. She didn't know at the time that Ferguson had become involved at Larry Hoisington's request. But it did seem odd that Ferguson wanted to meet with her at a Starbucks, rather than at police headquarters. Blackmore brought a digital recorder to the meeting.

Ferguson agreed to let her tape the meeting, Blackmore says. The detective, however, didn't want her help with the investigation, she says. Rather, he wanted her to drop it. "He gave me all this stuff about how 'Officer Hoisington, he's in all our parades. He used to dress up like a clown for the children. We're planning his retirement party, which is just nine weeks away.' He made me feel like the bad guy."

Blackmore says she wouldn't budge. Ferguson asked whether she'd at least come with him to headquarters to meet with Police Chief James Scarberry and a captain, whose name she couldn't remember. Since Blackmore had another appointment to make, she told Ferguson she'd meet him afterward, she says.

Before Blackmore left, Ferguson asked to see her recorder, she says. She remembers him fiddling with it, then handing it back. A moment later, in the car, she turned on the recorder, she says, only to discover that her recording of the meeting had been erased.

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