Bryan Hoisington always wanted to work in law enforcement, and he knew the people who could make that happen in Hollywood — starting with his father.
Larry Hoisington retired in 2005 from the Hollywood Police Department after 30 years as a model officer. He was the department's Officer of the Year three times, and over his long career, he was only twice investigated by the Internal Affairs division.
But the elder Hoisington always bent the rules a bit when it came to his son. Speaking to New Times last week, he recounted an incident when Bryan was a boy and Larry was scolded by his chief for letting the child ride shotgun in his police cruiser. And one of those two Internal Affairs complaints originated in a case of road rage that involved an adult Bryan. It appears to be a case in which Larry Hoisington confused his power as a cop with his role as a parent. Though the case was deemed "unsubstantiated," the fallout was costly for father and son.
Sue Blackmore had almost forgotten the name until last month, when her phone rang. The Miramar Police Department was calling. They were considering hiring Bryan Hoisington as an officer.
The name Hoisington brought back vivid memories for Blackmore. On November 8, 2004, she was driving her '96 Ford Mustang along the quiet streets of Hollywood's west side. A nurse, she was headed toward a health-care agency to pick up a check.
A dark-blue Ford Expedition pulled up beside her at the corner of North 46th Avenue and Taft Street in a residential neighborhood. The driver, a young man, was furious — even with her windows closed and her radio cranked to WZTA-FM (94.9), a Latino rock station, Blackmore says she could hear the man shouting at her, and she could see him waving a fist out his window.
Blackmore had no recollection of having cut somebody off. But this man was hysterical, she says. Judging by the clatter on her roof and hood, he was even throwing stuff, she says — it sounded like pennies.
Blackmore says she waved to him. "And that just pissed him off even more."
As she headed south on 46th, Blackmore says, the Expedition sped after her. It came up on her left side. "He was trying to pass me," Blackmore says. It occurred to her that if he did, he might be able to maneuver her off the road. So she swerved to the middle of the street to block his path.
They chased each other over what Blackmore estimates to be a mile or two before Blackmore turned onto Fillmore Street from 48th Avenue. In the street ahead, Blackmore says, she could see a group of kids playing basketball, and she braked. The Expedition was too close to stop, and it struck the bumper of Blackmore's Mustang.
By the time Blackmore opened her eyes, the Expedition's driver was stomping over to her. He kicked her passenger door several times, she says. He banged his fists on the roof and then ripped the side mirror off the car, she says. She remembers him screaming, "You fucking bitch! You're dead. I'm going to kill you!"
A woman came out of her home to see about the commotion. "Call 911," Blackmore says she yelled as she picked up her cell phone to do the same.
But the young man in the Expedition was already talking on his own cell. "My father's a cop," Blackmore remembers him saying. "You're in big trouble."
The driver of the Expedition was Bryan Hoisington, the then-19-year-old son of Larry Hoisington — and Larry was on his way to the scene.
Blackmore remembers Larry Hoisington dressed in navy shorts and a white polo shirt with his name stitched on the back.
The 29-year police veteran seemed agitated, Blackmore says. She watched him shove his son into the Expedition and slam the door before going to talk to her. But as Bryan Hoisington tried to climb out of the truck, Larry charged back. "He was beating him on the face," Blackmore says. By then, a Hollywood patrol car had arrived, but Blackmore says the officer, Enrique Bassas, just watched.
After things settled down, Larry Hoisington gave Blackmore his business card. He told her to call him in a few days so they could settle the damage to her car, she says.
Larry and Bryan Hoisington tell a different story. Bryan says that Blackmore merged into his lane on 46th and that to avoid her, he jumped a median, raking the underbelly of his Expedition. (The Hoisingtons furnished a repair bill for the Expedition, for $1,157, to support that claim.) Bryan called his father, he says, who told him to follow the Ford Mustang so he could get the license-plate number.
Bryan denies that he shouted at Blackmore from his car or that he threw anything at her vehicle. The Hoisingtons say Blackmore was "brake-checking" Bryan — hitting her brakes to make him do the same — until finally it led to the collision on Fillmore.